Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Mukesh Ambani says data is the new oil, India largest consumer

Idea, Airtel talk of poor financial health, seek government aid Mukesh Ambani says data is the new oil, India largest consumer
Troy Mann | 29 September, 2017, 01:08

Industry leaders Sunil Bharti Mittal of Airtel and Kumar Mangalam Birla along with Sinha, Law and IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Oil and Skills Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also attended India Mobile Congress, which will go on till September 29.

India, Ambani said, has leapfrogged from a lowly 155th position in mobile broadband penetration to being the world's largest mobile data consuming nation in just one year.

Mukesh Ambani and Sunil Mittal described each other as "good" and "dear" friends.

He said the Indian economy would grow from Dollars 2.5 trillion to over USD 7 trillion and rank among top 3 economies in next 10 years, thanks to the contribution of the Indian telecom and IT industry which would play a key role in creating digital transformation. "While it is important to talk about Vision 2020, it is also important to talk about the big elephant that is in the room and nobody is talking about. the recent market development has affected the dynamics of the industry, with the sector passing through a series of severe financial as well as mental stress", Idea Cellular Managing Director Himanshu Kapania said.

Ambani said fresh lending to the sector has completely halted after Reserve Bank's caution to banks in April and wondered how can the oncesunshine sector maintain service quality as it requires Rs 1 trillion in investments annually. This, Vittal stressed, needs to change if the Digital India dream is to be achieved. Airtel will invest around Rs 18,000 to Rs 20,000 crore this year, he said, adding that the industry overall will be injecting Rs 50-60,000 crore to build digital infrastructure.

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Ambani, who recently launched India's cheapest 4G feature phone and operates one of India's largest 4G networks, addressed the audience to stakeholders and the audience a speech on the importance of data in the current age.

Stating that data was the oxygen of a digital economy, Ambani said Indians can not be deprived of this vital life-sustaining resource. Investment by Bharti Airtel in the last 2 years has been more than that of the past 20 years put together, he said. "We need to tap these technologies to generate jobs", he said.

Also present at the arena, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said that the customers were mostly benefited in the "healthy competition" between the telecom giants.

"No corporate, nor the government, can do it alone". According to him, data is the oxygen of the digital economy and the industry should provide ubiquitous access to high-speed data at affordable prices. "It will be a new source of value and will create opportunities and prosperity for India and millions of Indians", he said. The parameters will be based on experience in implementing the policy and guidelines issued by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for issue of clearance for installation of mobile towers.

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, said Ambani.

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