PM Modi's data price comparison and key takeaways from India's 5G launch

The Prime Minister was joined by top telecom CEOs Sunil Bharti Mittal, Kumar Mangalam Birla and Mukesh Ambani, as they chalked out their plans for implementing 5G.

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Saturday, October 01, 2022, 05:38 PM IST
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With the launch of 5G connectivity, India has joined 70 other countries led by the US and European nations, to provide ultra-high-speed internet to common people. Although touted as ten times faster than 4G, the real speed of 5G in real-world conditions after factoring in network congestion and signal strength, will only be known post-implementation. But during the launch of 5G at the Indian Mobile Congress at Pragati Maidan in Delhi, PM Modi and CEOs of Indian telcos highlighted use cases and affordability of the tech in India.

Affordability makes data accessible

Reminding people of a time when 1 GB of data used to cost Rs 300, PM Modi mentioned how an average Indian consumes 14 GB data every month at Rs 10 per GB. Giving credit of the development to his government’s efforts, the PM said that technology has become democratic since even the poor have access to it. He also added how India went from 100 villages with optical fiber connections to 170 thousand villages with it, and from 2 to 200 mobile factories, between 2014 and 2022.

Currently, close to 70 crore Indians out of 130 crore enjoy internet connectivity, while 25,000 villages are yet to have access to internet connectivity. So far, while India offers affordable data with the fifth cheapest internet globally, the connections in India are among the slowest in the world.

Jio gears up for maximum coverage

Speaking at the event, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani promised that Jio will take 5G to every taluka by December 2023, and highlighted how it will allow people and businesses to make the most of AI, robotics, blockchain and metaverse. His son Akash Ambani promised to keep 5G affordable, which is notable considering that Reliance has spent more than Airtel and Vodafone Idea on infrastructure. While its two major competitors are starting off with a 5G infrastructure built on the one used for 4G, Reliance Jio has built a standalone 5G infrastructure.

Telecom CEOs share their plans

Kumar Mangalam Birla, who owns 27 per cent of Vodafone Idea, hailed the potential of 5G to pave the way for India to become a $5 trillion economy, by enabling 130 crore Indians to realise their potential.

Joining him, Bharti Airtel CEO Sunil Bharti Mittal announced that the telco will provide 5G in 8 cities, to begin with, and is eyeing pan-India coverage by 2024.

The PM also mentioned how 5G isn’t your average mobile network for day-to-day internet usage but can change every aspect of life. This reflects the potential of using 5G for tele-surgeries conducted remotely and controlling connected vehicles.

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