Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday congratulated the telecom industry for completing 25 years of mobile telephony in the country.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) organised a special online event “Desh Ki Digital Udaan” to commemorate the event.
In his letter, the prime minister appreciated the contribution made by DoT, telecom companies, and COAI in the growth of the telecom sector. “While 25 years ago connectivity was a privilege, today, it is a tool of empowerment,” he said.
The letter also mentions digital mobility as an enabler of multiple kinds of mobility – social, economic and informational. “The telecom sector’s achievements also fit in with the government’s Digital India initiative and the JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhaar, Mobility) programme,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Airtel said, “Twenty-five years ago, Airtel along with others started the mobile journey. In the next 25 years, what we really are looking forward to is IoT, low-latency connectivity, a full 5G-enabled network ensuring digital payments.”
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries said, “Mobility has changed India in four ways. First connectivity has become affordable. As a result, it ceased to be a rich man’s monopoly long ago. Now with cell phones becoming multifunctional with mobile internet, it opened the floodgates of human creativity. Lastly, it has become a catalyst for enrichment and empowerment of common Indians in ways unthinkable 25 years ago.”
Telecom secretary Anshu Prakash indicated how during the COVID crisis it was telecom services that kept all going. He also pointed out that telecom is a capital intensive business as there is continuous upgradation.
While delivering the opening remarks, Lt Gen Dr. SP Kochhar, Director General, COAI, said, “During the last 25 years, technological progress, innovation, and market dynamics have had a profound impact on the industry and contributed to the accelerated liberalization of the sector. There are many sectors doing good work in their fields but without telecom linkages they would be isolated specks. Telecom interconnects and helps societies to be connected. It is like the nervous system of the human body. Taking inspiration from this memorable journey, the industry is committed to working towards creating a truly world-class digital ecosystem of the future with the help of our all stakeholders, especially the government.”