Addressing the inaugural edition of the India Mobile Congress on Wednesday, Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said data was the new oil, and India did not need to import it. The country only needed to ensure every Indian had access to data.
Ambani also said that the Indian economy would grow from $2.5 trillion to over $7 trillion over the next 10 years to become one of the top 3 economies in the world. Growth in India's mobile data market, he said, was unparallelled in the world.
Bullish on the 4G telephony in India, the chairman of RIL, which owns the disruptive Reliance Jio Infocomm, said 4G coverage in the country would become larger than 2G in next 12 months. He also emphasised the need to break silos to invest in creating next-gen technology and forge newer partnerships.
Hailing India as one of the biggest telecom markets in the world, Ambani said that data is a 'vital life-sustaining resource' which should be provided to all Indians at the most feasible cost.
"The fourth industrial revolution, fuelled by connectivity, data and Artificial Intelligence has begun. Data is the oxygen of a digital economy. We cannot deprive Indians of this vital life-sustaining resource. Data is the new oil, which does not need to be imported. We have it in super-abundance," Ambani said.
Highlighting the achievements of the Indian telecom industry so far, Ambani claimed that in the next 10 years, India will grow from a USD 2.5 trillion to a USD 7 trillion economy and rank among the top three economies in the world. Further, he also stated that 4G network is projected to surpass 2G network in the next twelve months.
"The pace at which the Indian Mobile Industry has grown is unparalleled in the world. India leapfrogged from 155th in mobile broadband penetration to being top mobile data consumer in the world in last one year," he said.
Further, he highlighted the need of the hour to be the presence of internet for all Indians at affordable prices.
"India must tap the potential of new technologies to transform and create jobs in rural and agricultural sector. India must embark on the task of connecting everything and everyone via super Internet of Things," he said.
Meanwhile, Aruna Sundarajan, Secratary, Telecom Ministry said India can be transformed into a manufacturing hub and global telecom leader, adding that 'Make in India' can aid the employment generation drive.
IMC 2017 is jointly organised by the COAI and K AND D Communications Ltd. This first of its kind event is supported by the Ministry of Communication (Department of Telecommunications), Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY), Skill Development and Entrepreneurship amongst others.
Here are the highlights of what Ambani said:
We have to invest in building next-generation technology assets. We have to root out inefficiencies across the digital ecosystem
Here is the full text of his speech:
Shri Manoj Sinhaji,
Shri Dharmendra Pradhanji
Smt. Aruna Sundararajan,
Shri Ajay Prakash Sawhney,
My good friends from the industry – Sunil Mittal and Kumar
Ladies & Gentlemen,
A very good morning to each and every one of you.
Today is a proud day for all of us to be at the first Indian Mobile Congress.
My compliments to the Government of India, Shri Ravishankar Prasadji, Shri Manoj Sinhaji and their entire team for conceptualising and organising this event.
An event that signals that India is one of the biggest telecom and digital markets in the world.
Indian Mobile Congress will soon become a must-attend global event.
India has leapfrogged from a lowly 155th in Mobile Broadband penetration to being the world’s largest mobile data consuming nation in just one year.
The pace at which the Indian mobile industry has grown is unparalleled in the world.
I believe that in the next 10 years, India will grow from a $2.5 trillion economy to a $7 trillion economy and rank among the topthree economies in the world.
And to make this happen, the Indian telecom and IT industry has to play a foundational role in creating the digital infrastructure.
As a nation, we missed out on the first three global Industrial revolutions – namely mechanization, mass production and automation.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution, fuelled by connectivity, data and Artificial Intelligence has begun.
India now has the opportunity to lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is set to usher in more dramatic transformations globally than the three previous revolutions.
Mobile Internet and cloud computing are the foundational technologies in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Data is the new oil.
India does not need to import it.
We have it in super-abundance.
It will be a new source of value and will create opportunities and prosperity for India and millions of Indians.
As an Industry, we have the urgent task of empowering 1.3 billion Indians with the tools needed to flourish in the digital marketplace.
Data is the oxygen of a digital economy.
We cannot deprive Indians of this vital life-sustaining resource.
We have to provide ubiquitous access to high-speed data at affordable prices.
At the same time, we have to ensure that every Indian has access to an affordable smartphone that connects him to limitless knowledge and the power of the Internet.
Young Indians, who account for 63% of the nation’s population, have the competence to build new digital businesses.
They are bustling with ideas and entrepreneurial energy.
If we give them the right tools, and create the right eco-system, they will transform India into a nation of a million start-ups.
The Indian mobile market is now overflowing with data.
All of us have worked to create a robust digital circulatory system to carry data to each one of the 1.3 billion Indians, including those living in the remotest village.
4G coverage in India will become larger than the 2G coverage within the next 12 months.
There is an urgent need to apply the revolutionary powers of digital technologies to India’s pressing needs and challenges.
Today, I want to submit THREE must-do tasks for the consideration of both the government and our industry.
One: We must explore and implement innovative ideas to generate employment, self-employment and income-generation opportunities for millions of Indian youth.
We must foster confidence in the society that new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud computing, Big Data analytics, 3-D printing, Blockchain, Nanotechnology, etc. are enablers of a new wave of wealth and employment for all.
I believe that we must especially tap the potential of these new technologies to transform, and create jobs in the rural and agricultural sectors.
Two: Digital technologies can be a boon for achieving our national priorities of energy security, water security, and resource security.
New sources of energy and new modes of transportation with unparalleled efficiencies have become possible thanks to convergence of several technologies.
India must embark on the task of connecting everything and everyone via the Super-Internet of Things.
This will enable 130 crore Indians to collaborate directly with one another, democratizing economic life like never before.
Three: Our nation’s human capital is our greatest asset.
Therefore, digitalisation of education, training and human resource development in a comprehensive manner must be regarded as a precondition for the success of Digital India.
To accomplish all these tasks, the telecom and IT industry will have to partner with every sector of the economy and government, every business and every institution, from the biggest to the smallest.
To realise the Digital India dream to the fullest, we have to start by becoming the change that we seek to create.
We have to invest in building next-generation technology assets.
We have to root out inefficiencies across the digital ecosystem.
And we must break silos and forge partnerships.
No corporate, nor the government, can do it alone.
Together, we can achieve the unimaginable.
Let’s not forget – India provides a big enough opportunity for all of us to grow – and prosper – together.
The opportunity to pave the path for our nation’s progress, and create a better quality of life for every Indian beckons us.
To turn this opportunity into reality should be the clarion call of this First Indian Mobile Congress.
Today, we are an unstoppable nation.
May God bless our nation as we journey to an exciting and glorious future.