25 years back, on this very date, the first mobile call was made in India. To mark the special date, COAI and Department of Telecommunications (DoT) organised an online event. The event was named ‘Desh Ki Digital Udaan’. Honourable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi congratulated the industry via a written letter. There were key messages from many important figures from the telecom industry. Dr Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Airtel and Mr Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director of Reliance Industries Limited also shared some of their thoughts. Ambani asked for 2G to be made a part of history while Mittal called for the review of telecom sector’s current rules.
Mukesh Ambani Says ‘Necessary Policy Steps’ Required to Remove 2G
Ambani addressed in his note that while the world is shifting towards 5G technology and connectivity, there are still 300 million customers who use 2G connectivity. There are multiple factors behind why this is the case. These people do not get the same exposure to the world and it is unfair to them. Ambani urged that necessary policy steps have to be taken to make 2G a part of history in India and it should be done with utmost urgency.
Ambani also said that Jio has made and is continuing to make a significant contribution in India’s Digital Udaan. In less than four years of starting its services, Reliance Jio has become the number one telco in India in terms of subscriber count. The telco reported a subscriber count of 398.3 million users and a net profit of Rs 2,520 crore in Q1’21.
Sunil Bharti Mittal Asks for Review of Telecom Sector
Mittal stressed the importance of giving due attention to the needs of the telecom sector. He believes that the taxes levied on the industry are unreasonably high. Bharti Airtel reported a net loss of Rs 15,933 crore in Q1,21 because of paying the AGR dues.
Mittal said, “It is important that this is reviewed thoroughly and telecommunication resources like spectrum and levies should not become a source for the exchequer but should become a force multiplier in ensuring that the economic momentum becomes faster and gets accelerated. So the government can earn its dues from other Industries who are going to be riding on the back of this wonderful industry.”