The silver jubilee celebrations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) seem to have been the occasion for some important announcements too – notably announcements involving 5G and long-awaited Department of Telecommunications (DoT) reforms.
Speaking at the event, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the country's first 5G testbed. This, it was claimed, would enable start-ups and industry players to test and validate their products locally and reduce dependence on foreign facilities.
The testbed facility, which will be available at five different locations, has been developed as a collaborative project involving eight institutes.
The Prime Minister also called for rapid 5G network rollouts in India, saying the technology would transform lives and boost the economy by $450 billion in the next 25 years. He also argued that there should be stronger levels of cooperation and collaboration between government and industry to hasten 5G rollouts.
Further supporting this upbeat narrative, Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan referred to last September’s proposed structural and procedural reforms to facilitate ease of doing business and improve the liquidity of the telecom sector.
He insisted that the government has already implemented a large number of telecom reforms and that, by the end of this month, all the reforms will be undertaken.
He added that the regulator would have to re-invent itself in line with the aspirations of today’s generation. And speaking of aspirations, Chauhan backed up the Prime Minister’s self-reliance message with the news that state-run operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) will launch its indigenous 4G network, built by Indian engineers, scientists and companies, by the end of this year.