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By Sanjay Singh

New Delhi, November 6: India’s telecom industry regulator, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), has said that the introduction of 5G technology would enable India to achieve the digital empowerment goal and improve the lives of the people. Telecom operators are rushing to rollout the 5G services after Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the technology at the Indian Mobile Congress in the national capital recently.

“The 5G technology would offer significant improvements in network performance and is likely to transform industries and society, putting the country on an unprecedented growth trajectory. This would have a massive impact on various industries and on the overall economy,” TRAI Chairperson, Dr PD Vaghela said at a workshop here.

Vaghela also said that India is the second largest telecom market in the world now with 117 crore telecom subscribers and 825 million broadband subscribers. He said that India has considered technology as a key element for two things, one for rapid economic growth and the second for social and digital inclusion.

According to him, the Digital India programme has helped a lot in expanding the use of technology and the Digital India profile has seen a huge change in various sectors. The TRAI chief also highlighted how the stakeholders can cooperate for expediting infrastructure rollout for 5G deployment considering the issues and challenges in the north-eastern states. He said that the focus of the government is to provide internet and digital access to everyone, including underserved people, to ensure that every section of society gets connectivity at any cost.

About the need of adopting new digital technology for social and economic development, Vaghela said that digitalisation of the economy and also social life is of utmost importance in today’s world. Emphasising the need for digital literacy and digital infrastructure, he said that the development of digital infrastructure and connectivity to every household is on priority and this is the only way a common citizen becomes able to explore the opportunities available in an economy.

Giving a further big push to develop the 5G ecosystem in India and aimed to boost Digital India initiative, the Centre has approved ₹26,000 crore to install new 25,000 mobile telecom towers in the next 500 days to utilise the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

The much-awaited rollout came after 5G spectrum auctions, in which 51,236 MHz spectrum was allocated to telcos, generating up to ₹1,50,173 crore for the government. The Centre expects the total economic impact of 5G on India at $450 billion by 2035. The mobile internet penetration is expected to increase from 48.9 per cent in 2021 to 78.1 per cent in 2027 on remote or hybrid work, and high demand for online entertainment, online learning, and digital payment services. Mobile internet boost in rural and remote areas will also drive internet penetration.

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