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Communication, broadcast a basic service, needs to be provided at lowest cost

Communication and broadacast is a basic service linked to education, health and quality of life, which needs to be provided at the lowest cost, Advisor to Prime Minister Tarun Kapoor said on Tuesday.

Speaking at Driving India’s Techade: D2M for Bharat – 5G Broadcast Summit, Kapoor said that common men have the right to have all the basics (services).

”How we will deliver that we have to think of. Either it could be by providing higher wage employment or it could be done by reducing the price of services a person needs or making it available so that the poorest of the poor has all those,” he said.

He was of the view that communication and broadcast is basic (services) and linked to education, health and quality of life.

”So these services have to be delivered at the lowest price and if we have technology which help do that then we have to welcome them,” he added.

The summit aims to deliberate on concrete actions in promoting Direct-to-Mobile (D2M) broadcasting as a major disruption in the mobile broadcasting space.

The D2M broadcasting technology developed by Saankhya Labs and IIT Kanpur leverages terrestrial telecommunications infrastructure and public broadcaster-assigned spectrum to transmit video, audio and data signals directly to compatible mobile and smart devices.

With the potential to reach over a billion mobile devices, the adoption of D2M technology promises transformative benefits.

These include cost reductions in data transmission and access, improvements in network efficiency and resilience, and potentially leading to the establishment of a nationwide emergency alert system.

Citing an example, Kapoor explained about giving free dish (TV DTH) to over six crore households in the country.

He informed that the government will further expand this programme.

”We will take this to the remotest part of the country,” he stated.

About the disruptive nature of D2M, he opined that India has reached a stage where not only the market is growing, but customers accept and need several options.

A customer may have two or three systems working at his home or his establishment.

”So, with a much much larger market, it is going to be good competition and it is also going to throw more options,” he said.

He also stated that India will see good action in manufacturing mobile phones with cheaper versions.

Therefore, there will be availability of (mobile phone) instruments at affordable price. There is a big shift from feature phones to smartphones and the numbers are growing, he stated.

He also stated that the government has approved higher allocation for this village connectivity through fibre (cable internet) and set higher targets.

”Taking fibre to every village will be reality. We have already covered over 1.5 lakh villages,” he stated.

About India not spending enough on R&D, he said that the government now is very keen that India plays a leading role in R&D, not just in second stage R&D.

Second stage R&D is where the real research is done somewhere else and we are just adopting certain technologies.

Therefore the funding from the government is going up tremendously. Huge money is going into R&D. Converting those innovations and discoveries into commercial ventures is what will take India forward, he added.

G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant said on the occasion that policy makers need to support such an innovation (D2M).

He also highlighted that India does 46 per cent of the total fast payments in the world and 86 per cent of women in the country have bank accounts.

He said that it is not easy to bring disruptive technology as there would be challenges. PTI

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