World Telecom Day 2024: Need to ensure sustainable growth and affordability in the 5G era, says DCC’s Manish.. – ETTelecom

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With the expanding bandwidth and the ongoing conversion to 5G networks, an increasing number of activities are transitioning to digital formats but we need to ensure a sustainable development with all these innovations, according to a senior government official.

“We are a truly digital telecom network, and it is vital for us to sustain this growth to support the economic activities and information needs met by our network. This will significantly enhance people’s quality of life, promote ease of living, and foster human development,” Manish Sinha, Member (Finance), Digital Communications Commission said while delivering a Keynote Address at the ETTelecom’s virtual conference on the occasion of World Telecom Day.

For any kind of sustainability, it is crucial that the delivery of these services on such a network remains affordable. “Ensuring that any new or expensive technology becomes accessible to the larger population of the country is essential,” he said.

We begin by building economies of scale and ensuring that tariffs are reasonable, besides focusing on identifying new revenue streams to sustain these networks, such as direct usage surcharge, Sinha said.

The concept of advertising revenue is becoming more prevalent on digital networks and here, it’s not just about the delivery of voice or data; the content itself generates a separate revenue stream. “That is why we see issues like should revenue streams only comprise of tariff or operators should get a share of the advertising revenue that is being generated by the content providers. These issues will be resolved in the future and some kind of a balance will be achieved. This will ensure there are adequate returns to the telecom operators, by which they are able to sustain the telecom networks that will require greater replacement costs, continuous expansion as more and more users get involved in the digital network,” he said.

As technology life cycles have shortened, it becomes increasingly challenging to achieve quick returns and invest rapidly in the next generation of technology.

With 5G, significant investments were made to increase capacity, along with spectrum cost. Telecom operators faced immediate competition from satellite technology and the expanding capabilities of unlicensed networks, which collectively impacted the telecom operators’ ability to secure good returns on their investments, he said.

For sustainability and ongoing investments in the networks, it’s essential to ensure that telecom operators continue to receive returns on their investments. “This requires achieving a balance between innovation and maintaining network capacity to sustain the innovations on the digital network. This balance will enable greater utilization of digital platforms by users, thereby increasing economic and informational activities on the networks,” the government official said.

  • Published On May 17, 2024 at 05:37 PM IST

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