Affordable telecom services will lead to digital transformation to the next level, he said

India’s telecom policy is driven by the objectives of affordability, accessibility and availability of state of art ICT facilities to every citizen, Union Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan said on Tuesday.

He was participating in the Ministerial Roundtable Session of the 50th anniversary edition of International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Digital World 2021, hosted by the Government of Vietnam.

Prime Minister of Vietnam and Ministers of Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Lao P.D.R., Myanmar and Vietnam also participated in the session with the topic - “Cutting the cost: can affordable access accelerate digital transformation?”.

India has not only been working on affordability but has made accessibility one of the prime objectives of its telecom policy, Chauhan pointed out.

He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had mandated that all six lakh villages of India should be connected through optical fibre.

According to the MoS Communications, India had ushered in historical telecom reforms to ensure the most affordable telecom services which would lead to digital transformation to the next level.

These telecom reforms mainly include increase in spectrum tenure from 20 to 30 years, rationalization of bank guarantee requirements for license, no Spectrum Usage Charge (SUC) for spectrum acquired in future spectrum auctions and allowing 100 per cent foreign investment through automatic route besides addressing liquidity issues of Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), Chauhan said.

"This reformative process will unleash the true potential of Indian telecom sector to the benefits of all sections including those who live in the remotest part of the country," he pointed out.

Chauhan reiterated that India was committed to assist the world in providing the most cost-effective ICT services for accelerating digital transformation by sharing its best practices and knowledge with other nations.

Deputy Secretary General of the ITU stated that if transformative initiatives are taken at the highest level, their chances of success and potential increase manifold, of which India is a fine example.