India should adopt 5G technology in telecom sector soon and some parts of it should be developed locally, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said. He was speaking at Magnificent Madhya Pradesh investor summit. Last week, Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson announced it will start manufacturing 5G network equipment in India once the service is operational in the country. Meanwhile, Meanwhile, Huawei is also eyeing local manufacturing and says they are studying the government's new policy announcement around corporate tax reduction and incentives for setting up local manufacturing units. 5G refers to the fifth-generation cellular network technology.
"We should adopt 5G technology soon as it will inter-connect devices and accelerate data flow," Kant said at the `Magnificent Madhya Pradesh' investor summit. "A debate is underway on 5G technology. I am of the view that there is a need to develop some segments of it with Indian technology for taking the nation forward," he added.
Kant also said while the data cost in India is too cheap compared to other countries, consumption is huge. He said data consumption has seen a steep rise in the last three years. In 2016, Reliance Jio disrupted India's telecom market with free data that was later made available at cheaper prices, which clearly resulted in a much-needed boost in data consumption. The 5G technology will increase data flow and make people's life easier, Kant said. Underlining the importance of machine learning and artificial intelligence, NITI Aayog CEO said the government should make special efforts to expand the number of data specialists and data scientists.
Speaking about individual data rights, Kant said, "The user should have the right over data but some data are such that there is no harm in their sharing." But some kind of data, such as that related to people's health, should stay inside the country, he said. In related news, telecom minister Ravi Shankar Prasad has promised reforms in the cost of spectrum and said that auctions will take place in the current fiscal year. It comes amid widespread concerns over excessive pricing of radiowaves including 5G.
(With PTI inputs)