digitisation and communications

  • Yes, if we succeed at major structural changes, starting with telecom. But to transform telecom, the government and all of us have to come to the stark realisation that just as finance drives the economy, digitisation and communications have to be at the heart of production and delivery. Telecom and digitisation are strategic enablers for all infrastructure and in all sectors. Leading countries are so far ahead and functioning so effectively that it is difficult for us to imagine. We must want that path, plan for it, and put in the requisite effort.

    Simply tweaking overdue payments, tinkering to reduce charges, and plugging along as before isn’t going to get us there. In this sense, the Committee’s charter is too limited. All it can do is assuage the pain, whereas our need is for a revitalised industry to serve our purposes.If the Committee’s scope were broader, could we actually adopt digitisation as our core strategy for development and growth? A study on China, “Telecommunications reforms in China”, about the transformation in policies to make digitisation its development priority, is instructive.

    Their approach to reforms was to balance the government’s aims of universal coverage, governance and control, and efficiency; industry’s profit-seeking; and the people and enterprises’ needs for freer, more rapid communications. This is what we need to do, in a way that works for us.Also, the government, the judiciary, the press and users need to understand and accept that the telecom crisis is part of the larger non-performing assets (NPAs) problem. It has systemic links to NPAs and banking, which links to real estate and construction, electricity and roads, and stable and predictable taxes. Government payment delays and tax terrorism must stop. Business as usual will not resolve NPAs soon to enable growth. These two articles explain why and deserve attention.
    The disruptions caused by COVID-19 pandemic made enterprises from various industries invest in IoT. Also, the demand for smart home devices surged in 2020. The ultrafast speed and ultralow latency enabled by 5G will boost IoT by making connected devices exchange real-time data almost instantly. The demand for home and industrial IoT devices and applications will increase consistently in the post-pandemic world. The telecom companies have to expand and upgrade networks to cater to the data usage needs of new IoT solutions and applications used by enterprises across industries.

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