The Prime Minister on Tuesday said connectivity will determine the pace of progress in 21 st century India and therefore connectivity has to be modernised at every level.

Speaking at the silver jubilee event of Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) here, he said it is estimated that the 5G network rollout will add $450 billion to the Indian economy, adding that 5G technology will bring positive changes in the governance of the country, ease of living and ease of doing business.

“This will boost growth in every sector like agriculture, health, education, infrastructure and logistics. This will also increase convenience and create many employment opportunities. For rapid roll-out of 5G, efforts of both the government and industry are needed,” he said

Modi cited the telecom sector as a great example of how self-reliance and healthy competition create a multiplier effect in society and the economy.

‘New energy’

Coming out of the policy paralysis of the 2G scam era, the country has moved rapidly from 3G to 4G, and now 5G and 6G, he said, adding that India is targeting the rollout of 6G telecom network, which will provide ultra-high speed Internet connectivity, by the end of the decade, Modi said.

PM Modi addresses the silver jubilee celebrations of TRAI through video conferencing in New Delhi on Tuesday

PM Modi addresses the silver jubilee celebrations of TRAI through video conferencing in New Delhi on Tuesday | Photo Credit: PTI

He noted that in the last eight years, new energy was infused into the telecom sector, and credited TRAI for playing an important role in this.

“The country is going beyond thinking in silos and moving ahead with the ‘whole of the government approach’. Today we are expanding the fastest in the world in terms of tele-density and Internet users in the country, many sectors including telecom have played a role in it,” he added.

Reached 1.75 lakh gram panchayats

Modi said to make the mobile accessible to the poorest of the poor families, emphasis was also placed on the manufacturing of mobile phones in the country itself, and India now has more than 200 units of mobile manufacturing facilities  from two in 2014.

“Before 2014, not even 100 village panchayats in India were provided with optical fibre connectivity. Today, we have made broadband connectivity reach about 1.75 lakh gram panchayats. Hundreds of government services are reaching villages because of this,” he added.

Meanwhile, the PM also launched the first self-made 5G Test Bed — used to validate products for 5G networks — at the event. He congratulated all those associated with this project, including the IITs.