India will be the main exporter of telecommunications in 3 years; 4G and 5G stack ‘now ready’, says communications minister

India will be the main exporter of telecommunications in 3 years; 4G and 5G stack ‘now ready’, says communications minister

India will be the main exporter of telecommunications in 3 years; 4G and 5G stack 'now ready', says communications minister

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India has a proven track record with its indigenous 4G/5G technology stack which is “now ready” and the country is poised to become a major telecommunications technology exporter to the world within the next three years, it said on Saturday. Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw. Speaking at the Economic Times Global Business Summit 2023, Vaishnaw, who is also Minister of Railways, emphatically said there is no plan to privatize the national carrier.


5G services were launched on October 1, 2022, and within 100 days were rolled out to more than 200 cities. The speed of deployment has been praised by industry leaders globally and is described in many international forums as the “fastest deployment in the world”, he said.

Vaishnaw highlighted population-scale solutions being tested on the Indian stack, across platforms such as payments, healthcare and identity. Each of these platforms is powerful on its own, but together they become a dynamic force that can solve “any major problem in the world”.

The minister said India is expected to emerge as an exporter of telecommunications technology to the world over the next three years.

“Today there are two Indian companies exporting to the world… telecommunications equipment. In the next three years, we will see India as a major exporter of telecommunications technology to the world,” said Vaishnaw.

The Minister spoke of India’s rapid progress in developing its own 4G and 5G technology stack, a feat that has caught the world’s attention.

“The stack is now ready. It was tested first for 1 million concurrent calls, then for 5 million, and now it has been tested for 10 million concurrent calls,” he said in the calling it “phenomenal success”.

At least 9 to 10 countries want to try it, he added.

The Minister made a presentation outlining the main initiatives under his three ministries of telecommunications, information technology and railways.

For railways, the focus is on transforming the passenger experience, he said while presenting slides on how railways are redeveloping stations and terminals (New Delhi, Ahmedabad , Kanpur, Jaipur, among others) with a modern and futuristic design plan, and in the process of creating new urban spaces while preserving the rich heritage.

The minister also gave an overview of the Vande Bharat train, the Kavach indigenous train protection system and the progress of the high-speed train project.

Asked about past discussions around private freight rail corridors to boost logistics, the minister said “there is no railway privatization program”.

“In a country where we have 1.35 billion people, 8 billion people moving every year on the railways, we thought it was prudent to learn from the experience of others and keep it at the within the government structure,” Vaishnaw said.

To another question on the dedicated food grain freight corridor, the Minister explained that when it comes to transport economics, it is important not to split assets between different applications.

“Today, the thinking has become much refined, and we are adding almost 4,500 km of network each year, or 12 km of new tracks per day. So we have to increase the capacity to such an extent that there are enough capacity for food grains, enough for coal, small parcels and all types of goods,” he said.

While the railways had been steadily losing market share over the past 50 to 60 years, they have begun to regain it.

“The lowest point was 27%. I am happy to share that from the level of 27%, last year the railways have gone down to 28%, this year we are doing almost 29 to 29.5%, and in the next 2. In 3 years, the railways will go towards 35% market share,” he said.

People will choose between road, rail or air transport depending on the distance to be travelled, and “there will be something for everyone”. “The country will have enough for everyone, that’s my point of view. Up to 250 kilometers of road is very good, 250 to 1000 kilometers of railway is the ideal mode. Beyond 1000 kilometers air will be the ideal mode. So there will be enough for everyone,” said the minister.

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