Minister of State for Communications, Devusinh Chauhan on Friday praised the steps taken by the current government to bring a reform in the telecom sector of the country. Chauhan was speaking at an industry event organised by the Digital Infrastructure Providers Association (Dipa) where he said in a statement that India has witnessed a massive revolution in the telecom sector in the last seven years due to the policies of the current government. He further added that the government under the leadership of Narendra Modi is committed to taking telecom service to more than 6 lakh villages in India.
The Growth of the Indian Telecom Sector
As initially reported by ET Telecom, Devusinh Chauhan talked about the plan figured out by the telecom department of bringing fibre connections to villages across India. Earlier under the UPA-II government in 2012, BharatNet set off on a path to connect around 2.5 lakh gram panchayat or villages blocks or 6 lakh villages but failed to meet various deadlines since then. Chauhan further stated that the current government is pretty aware of the challenges or issues such as the right of way (RoW) and the telecom department has been instructed accordingly to hash out the challenges faced by infrastructure companies.
The minister of state for communications further highlighted the sturdiness and capacity of the Indian telecom infrastructure stating that even during the Covid-19 crisis, telecom networks were able to perform efficiently. He said that the telecom sector has witnessed extraordinary growth since 2014 and India currently has the second-largest user base of 1.3 billion and 800 million broadband connections. In addition to this, there has also been an increase in the number of base transceiver stations from 8 lakh to 23 lakhs.
Furthermore, according to a finding by EY-DIPA a total investment of Rs 1.8 – 2.2 trillion is required for the development of the infrastructure of the country over the next three to five years. The chairman of DIPA, Akhil Gupta said in a statement that a robust digital infrastructure is a necessity for India to become a leading digital economy and its future competitiveness. He added that building an infrastructure large enough will require investments in billions of dollars.
Devusinh Chauhan also stated that not only telecom networks have expanded in India but there has been significant growth in network usage as well. The study from EY-DIPA suggests that there has been a 36% rise in data traffic during the pandemic and a 400% increase in rural data consumption via the BharatNet fibre connection.