The TRAI has today released the consultation paper on New Telecom Policy 2018 (NTP 2018) and it rests on four pillars – convergence of broadband and broadcast networks, building IoT (Internet of Things)/M2M (Machine to Machine) infrastructure for both India as well as global requirement, providing digital services to rural and urban areas and aiming for self sufficiency in telecom equipment manufacturing.
Convergence of Broadband and Broadcast Network: With telecom networks in 4G era extensively being used to provide video services, TRAI feels it is necessary to provide converged broadband, broadcast and cloud infrastructure for Video on Demand (VoD) services as this will help in efficient utilisation of broadband, broadcast and cloud infrastructure. This would be a great step as presently these are driven by different ministries are not aligned with the goals of New Telecom Policy 2012.
Building IoT/M2M Infrastructure for India and Global: Both India and global will witness large scale deployment of IoT/M2M in a big way. According to Ericsson Mobility Report, by 2023 over 30 billion connected devices are forecast, of which around 20 billion will be related to the IoT (Internet of Things). Connected IoT devices include connected cars, machines, meters, sensors, point-of-sale terminals, consumer electronics and wearables.
The Industry 4.0 is being built around IoT/M2M infrastructure and services for which the availability of global and digital communications, low cost processing and high density data storage and increasingly connected population of active users of digital technologies are prerequisite. To keep pace with these developments, NTP 2018 should be formulated so that it encourages developments of networks especially suited for IoT, datacenter and associated services, data analytics cloud computing and home grown digital platforms and applications. The policy should help in remote delivery of services so that India can become global hub for IoT/M2M services.
Providing Digital Services to Rural and Urban Areas: The average speed of Internet is still much lower than the global average so NTP 2018 should focus in such a way that benefits of health, education, agriculture, citizen services and e-governance services reaches larger population of both rural and urban areas. This will definitely help the government to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Self Sufficiency in Telecom Equipment Manufacturing: India has not achieved expected success in making India a global hub for domestic manufacturing so the New Telecom Policy 2018 should focus on developing home grown digital platforms and services for meeting the specific needs of the country and also helping the country to become self sufficient in telecom equipment manufacturing.
All this is good for the country but one has to see the final shape of the policy to see what will India achieve by 2022 when it will celebrate its 75th year of Independence.