At the celebration of 25 years of mobile telephony in India, Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director of Reliance Industries, the holding company behind Reliance Jio, stressed on India's need to upgrade any 2G network and users that have so far failed to make the most of India's growing 4G internet ecosystem. Addressing Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad at the Desh ki Digital Udaan session earlier today, Ambani underlined four fundamental ways in which mobile telephony has transformed India, before stressing on the need for policy reforms to upgrade over 300 million users in India that still use 2G network, and hence, fail to make the most of India’s digital transformation.
As Ambani said, “As we take legitimate pride in the achievements of mobility in the last 25 years, this is also an occasion for us to look at the obstacles that have prevented Indian consumers and Indian society from fully benefiting from the digital revolution. Here I specifically referred to the fact that 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 where 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.”
He further said, “It is obvious that the next 25 years will bring even more breath taking changes in mobility. 25 years ago, India was behind the developed world in mobility. Now the time has come for India to be ahead of the rest of the world in key areas of technology. Let's all work together to realise this vision and mission.”
Noting four fundamental ways in which mobile telephony has changed, Ambani said that mobile communications is now more affordable than ever before. This has further helped India erase the divide between the rich and the poor like no other technology ever before. Further, he noted how mobile phones today are multitasking computing tools, and finally, the advent of truly affordable data, largely owing to Reliance Jio, has brought about key changes to the Indian economy.
Editors' Note: This article is part of the 25 Years of Internet In India series, where try to capture how the state of mobile services, home broadband, services and content have evolved, particularly in the past few years. We try to understand what the internet means for us, be it for the new reality of work from home, for entertainment including all the Netflix binge watching, music streaming, online gaming and more.