Telecom Policy must ensure customer welfare, financial health of industry

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The Centre’s new Telecom Policy should ensure a balance between providing welfare to the customer and securing the financial health of the industry, an expert has said.

Image for representational purpose only

Akhil Gupta, Vice Chairman, Bharti Enterprises and Executive Chairman Bharti Infratel said that with almost 100 billion dollars invested in the sector, there is hardly any profit that telecom companies can show.

This was the biggest challenge, adding that without further investment in the telecom sector, nothing will come out of it.

The second challenge, he said, is to provide trained manpower to the industry who can handle the rapid evolution of technologies, services and products.

The third challenge was to make concerted efforts to constantly re-skill and up-skill the existing work force in the telecom sector to avoid massive unemployment.

“The last 23 years ever since the telecom industry has been privatised, every year something exciting has been happening but what has happened in the last one year is absolutely unprecedented. For consumer, it’s been a greatest possible year and for a telecom student, this perhaps is the year of utmost pain and stress,” Gupta said.

He further stated that service providers are facing problems related to availability of locations and setting up sites since people are scared of radiation being emitted from towers, adding that when it comes to health, people are very sensitive.

Gupta was taking part in the 15th annual national telecom seminar ‘Telefocus’ on ‘Mobile Data Explosion: Challenges and Opportunities’ being held at Amity University here.

Dwelling on the opportunities created, he said the entire telecom industry has been consolidated in last one year, both in terms of infrastructure and services, adding that the Industry structure has finally been corrected.

He said that the second opportunity has been created by 4 G by providing the pleasure of data consumption to the consumer.

India, today, has become one of the largest consumer of data in the world and would witness the roll out of 5 G by 2020, which will create opportunities in infrastructure and services.

Lt. Gen. P. D. Bhargava, Group Deputy Vice Chancellor, Amity Universities and Advisor, Amity Institute of Telecom Engineering and Management said the volume of data is practically exploding day by day and it may explode several times by 2022 with introduction of Internet of Thing (IoT), Machine to Machine communication, smart cities etc.

Sanjay Malik, Country Head, Nokia Networks, said India has taken a lead in overall data consumption at the global stage, surpassing countries like the United States, Korea and Japan.

On the mobile penetration, he said, India is half way through and there is another half which is yet to come even on 4G which will be seen in next few months.

He stressed that lot of opportunities exist for young leaders with respect to roll out of 4G and networks becoming much more complex leading to the need for optimisation and transformation and readiness of the roll out of 5G resulting in movement of some infrastructure to cloud.

He predicted a paradigm shift in the telecom sector, where opportunities will outweigh challenges.

Rajan S Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India, said Big Data, Augmented Reality, Artificial Intelligence have presented lot of opportunities in telecom sector and students stand on threshold of great future.

He said the industry needs to create opportunities that are sustainable which meet the lifetime aspirations and demands of current generation in terms of satisfaction and fulfillment.

He said the sustainability of an organisation will depend upon need and not greed.

A great future lies ahead for India, but intrinsic values of the country should not be left behind, he said.

Telecom Excellence Awards were conferred upon Bharti Infratel, Indus Tower, Ericsson India Ltd., Bharti Airtel Ltd., Reliance Jio Infocomm, PwC, Delta Power Solutions Ltd, Xiaomi and others in different categories- “Innovation”, “Broadband and Digital India” and “Make in India” for their sterling performances. The inauguration was followed by a panel discussion.

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