In a significant move towards bolstering user protection, Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Minister of Communications in India, recently announced that the next wave of telecom reforms is set to be rolled out within the coming months, said a FE report. Building upon the successful launch of the Sanchar Saathi portal by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) back in May, which enables users to track lost mobile phones and verify phone numbers associated with identities, the upcoming reforms will emphasise safeguarding users' interests.
The reforms will be divided into two primary categories: structural reforms and procedural reforms. Minister Vaishnaw underscored the importance of user safety as a focal point of these initiatives. Through close collaboration with the telecom industry, the government aims to introduce comprehensive measures that enhance user protection and create a secure digital environment.
One of the key proposals under consideration is a reduction in the number of SIM cards issued against a single identification. Currently, individuals can obtain up to nine SIM cards using a single ID, but government sources suggest revising this limit to strengthen accountability and security.
The DoT has already taken notable steps in simplifying right-of-way (RoW) norms over the past year, expediting the deployment of 5G infrastructure across the nation. This initiative has significantly accelerated the progress of 5G in India, with the telecom industry investing around Rs 2.25 trillion ($30.78 billion) in the sector. As a result, over 270,000 5G sites have been established, bolstering connectivity and expanding technological capabilities.
India's commitment to technological advancement extends beyond 5G. Minister Vaishnaw highlighted ongoing efforts to develop a fully optical communications system with zero latency. This groundbreaking development holds tremendous potential, particularly in revolutionising sectors such as telemedicine, where real-time, high-quality healthcare services can be delivered remotely.
Additionally, India is actively fostering semiconductor manufacturing within its borders. Minister Vaishnaw shared that the groundbreaking ceremony for Micron Technology's unit is slated to occur within the next 40-45 days. Furthermore, preparations are already underway for the applied materials plant, which plans to invest approximately $400 million in the country.