prime minister Narendra Modi opened India on Saturday into the 5G era with the launch of 5G telephony services in the country at the India Mobile Conference 2022. The high-speed internet on mobile phones will initially be available in select cities and will be rolled out across the country in the next few years.

Hailing the momentous event as a historic day for the country, Prime Minister Modi said the government has focused on four pillars. “First, the cost of the device. Second, digital communication. Third, the cost of data. Fourth, and most importantly, the idea is “digital first,” Modi said, adding that his government is working on an “Internet for All.”

“This is a historic day for India in the 21st century. 5G technology will revolutionize the telecommunications sector. This summit is global, but the voice and the event are local,” Modi added, saying the feat was a product of initiatives like Digital India and Atmanirbhar Bharat.

“In the days of 2G, 3G and 4G, India was dependent on other countries for technology. But with 5G, India has created a new history. With 5G, India is setting a global standard in telecommunication technology for the first time,” said the Prime Minister.

Talking about the success of the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, Modi said, “Many have mocked my Atmanirbhar Bharat. But we have increased the production of mobile phones in India. Eight years ago there were only two mobile factories. Today there are more than 200 units in India. We are in second place in the world.”

“From zero mobile phone exports in 2014, today we have become a multi-thousand crore mobile phone exporting country. Naturally, all these efforts affected the price of the device. Now we have started getting more features at a lower price,” added the Prime Minister.

The fifth generation or 5G service, capable of supporting ultra-high-speed Internet, is expected to open up new economic opportunities and societal benefits, serving as a transformative force for Indian society.

Following the Prime Minister’s launch of 5G, three major telecom operators – Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea – showcased one use case to show the potential of 5G technology in India.

Mukesh AmbaniReliance Jio connected a teacher from a school in Mumbai with students in three different locations in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Odisha.

In Airtel’s demonstration, a girl from Uttar Pradesh witnessed a vivid and immersive educational experience to learn about the solar system through virtual and augmented reality. The girl shared her experience with the prime minister, appearing on the podium through a hologram.

A Vodafone Idea test demonstrated the safety of workers in an under-construction Delhi Metro tunnel by creating a ‘digital twin’ of the tunnel on stage.

Earlier at the event, the Prime Minister toured the Indian Mobile Congress pavilions set up by various telecom operators and technology vendors to see first-hand what 5G can do.

He started at Reliance Jio kiosks where he witnessed the demonstration of ‘True 5G’ devices and experienced the use case through Jio Glass. Accompanied by Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnavism and RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Sunil Bharti Mittal of Bharti Airtel and Kumar Mangalam Birla of Vodafone Idea, he spent time to understand the development of end-to-end 5G technology in local countries. After that he visited the stalls of Airtel, Vodafone Idea, C-DOT and others.

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