Urgent policy steps needed to make India ‘2G mukt’: Mukesh Ambani
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani on Friday said the time has come for Indian consumers and society to fully benefit from the digital revolution, and services like 2G should be part of history now.”India still has 300 million mobile subscribers trapped in the 2G era. Their feature phones keep them excluded, even from the basic uses of Internet, at a time when both India and the rest of the world are standing at the doorsteps of 5G telephony. I think necessary policy steps should be taken with utmost urgency to make 2G a part of history,” Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Ltd, said at the event marking 25 years of the telecom industry in India.Speaking through a video message at the event organised by the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), he said this is also an occasion for the industry to look at the obstacles that have prevented Indian consumers and Indian society from fully benefiting from the digital revolution.He said people are now accessing and exchanging knowledge on their phones, receiving news on their phones, watching and making videos on their phones, and all these are possible because of the Internet and smartphones.”They are buying and selling goods and services on their phones. They are making payments on their phones. They are working from home and studying from home on their phones. They are participating in virtual meetings, like the one we are having now,” Ambani further said.Highlighting Jio’s contribution to India’s digital Udaan, he said in less than four years since its inception, Jio has brought the ‘fruits of the digital revolution’ to the largest number of mobile users in India.”Jio has become the trailblazer in affordability, quality and functional versatility. We are now rolling out our vision of digital platforms and partnerships. This will provide the most advanced technological tools of empowerment to millions of our farmers, small merchants, consumers, small and medium enterprises, students, teachers, healthcare workers and innovators,” Ambani said.He added that these partnerships would create new and attractive employment and livelihood opportunities for our talented youth.Jio had recently tied up with Google in a commercial agreement to jointly develop entry-level 4G and possibly 5G smartphones, which would be affordable to people in the lower income groups.