Day One-Indian Mobile Congress 2018, IMC 2018 Began On A Grand-Scale At Aero City, New Delhi. A Report

IMC 2018 began on a grand-scale at Aero City, New Delhi. A Report

India Mobile Congress is one of the biggest marquee Mobile, Internet, and Technology event for South and South-East Asia, with the theme, “New Digital Horizons – Connect. Create. Innovate.”

IMC 2018 began on a grand-scale at Aero City, New Delhi with over 300 companies, 20 countries participating in this prestigious event in the Asia-Pacific region. Manoj Sinha, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Communications and Minister of State for Railways, accompanied by Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Electronics and Information Technology and Law & Justice, Suresh Prabhu, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Housing & Urban Affairs, Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary (T) & Chairperson, Telecom Commission, Tram Lv Tek, Minister of Posts & Telecommunications, Cambodia; U Thant Sin Maung, Union Minister for Transportation & Communications, Myanmar; Bounsaleumsay Khennavong, Lao PDR; and H.E. Gokul Prasad Baskota, Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Nepal inaugurated and participated in the second edition of this event. Also present were Dr Youngky Kim, President and Head of Samsung Networks; Vivek Badrinath, Regional CEO, Africa Middle East Asia Pacific, Vodafone Group; Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman, Bharti Enterprises; Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries Limited, and Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group. The inauguration ceremony was attended by over 5000 visitors from 10 partner countries, and included policy makers, ambassadors, opinion makers, change agents, bureaucrats and investors. The event was attended by more than 15000 people on Day One.

Telecom Minister, Manoj Sinha inaugurates IMC. The minister, Manoj Sinha, announced that the Indian telecom industry will rollout one million Wi-Fi hotspots in the country by December 2019, which is another step towards the digital empowerment of the nation. Bharat Wi-Fi, a country-wide common inter-operable platform of one million Wi-Fi Hotspots, owned and operated by telecom service providers, internet service providers, and virtual network operators will be rolled out across the country. This initiative allows consumers to access Wi-Fi Hotspots of any of the partnering operators.

The National Frequency Allocation Plan 2018 (NFAP) was unveiled during the inauguration presenting a pioneering roadmap for the Indian digital communications industry. The NFAP released a quantum of 605 MHz license exempt spectrum in 5GHz band for Wireless Access Services and Radio Local Area Networks in outdoor, to meet the ever-growing appetite for data (from a current figure of 50 MHz since 2007). The NFAP also offered over 30 license exempt bands for Short Range Devices (SRDs), Ultra-Wideband Devices (UWDs) and additional spectrum for M2M services, creating opportunities for the public to enjoy benefits from technologies and enabling the industry to build domestic manufacturing ecosystem. India signalled its spectrum plans for 5G services aspiring to adopt the next generation technology as a leading market.

In a major policy initiative, which will give impetus to small and medium entrepreneurship in telecom sector, DoT decided to deduct payments for resources taken by Virtual Network Operators (VNOs) from telecom service providers, thereby reducing levies payable by VNOs. This avoids double taxation at various stages.

A concrete plan is in making by the DoT to enable homegrown technologies for trials in the field on a large scale to enable the development and the scaling up of the products and services.

Day One has witnessed many rousing announcements by the industry and demos of the state-of-the-art 5G applications by global OEMs. Investments of approximately over Rs. 2000 crore and over 3 lakh jobs are expected to be created.

S. No. Organization / Company Announcement Relevance for India
1.a. Samsung & R Jio 5G Live Demo of the Skyship Drone Applications in public safety and surveillance, agriculture monitoring and disaster response.
1.b.. Ericsson & R Jio Demo of connected car on a 5G network Environmental quality, reduce traffic collisions and fatality rates. Driver safety and data processing and management.
2. Ericsson & Airtel Drone flying on 5G. Surveillance and logistics


Autonomous drone applications in mission-critical applications, disaster management, emergency deliveries, medicine and remote surveillance.
3 Nokia Manufacturing of Nokia 5G NR (New Radio) Nokia’s state-of-the-art manufacturing unit in Chennai will start large scale manufacturing of 5G New Radio enabling made in India for the world.
4. Ericsson Export of 5G ready equipment from India Ericsson started exporting 5G ready telecom equipment from its manufacturing facility in Pune, to global markets. Its state-of-the-art facility will cater enabling made in India for the world
5. BSNL, Airtel, JIo, and Vodafone idea One Million Wi-Fi Hotspots across India The telecom industry will install one million Wi-Fi hotspots in the next 12 months. Interoperability across different Wi-Fi networks thereby enabling smooth experience for subscribers, as he or she will be able to use the data plan taken from any TSP for all the Wi-Fi Hotspots deployed across India. Besides offering consumer delight, this industry initiative will create additional 3 lakh jobs.

Speaking at the inauguration, Manoj Sinha said, “Introducing the second edition of the India Mobile Congress is a proud moment for us. Last year, we witnessed an overwhelming response from everyone and we are confident that IMC 2018 will reach to the next level of success. The country is at the cusp of a digital revolution, with disruptions happening in each and every sector and industry. With growing smartphone and Internet penetration and with the finalization of National Digital Communication Policy 2018, these are exciting times for the telecom sector, and the society at large. We are elated to have the support of the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) and Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in addition to such enthusiastic participation from who’s who of the industry. IMC 2018, will not only attract investors, it will also witness the launch of several innovative products, encourage emerging startups, and promote futuristic technologies, thereby, paving the path to accomplishing Prime Minister’s vision of a digitally connected India.”

This edition of India Mobile Congress will comprise of ASEAN and BIMSTEC Ministerial Conclave, Partner Programs in Digital India, Smart Cities, Emerging Technologies, Make in India projects, Skill Harmonization, Business Innovation, and Knowledge Sharing. There will be a technology exhibition, offering a peek into connected villages, virtual and augmented reality, connected cars, m-health, smart wearables, smart home, artificial intelligence, robotics, smart energy, internet of things, block chain, and machine learning among other things. IMC 2018 will also hold a special plenary session on upcoming network technologies such as 5G.

IMC 2018 will also host a Global CEO’s Conclave where stalwarts from the global technology arena will come together and deliberate on the future of technology and how it will bring about paradigm shifts in the way we go about our daily lives. Discussions will revolve around the power of content, networks of the future, open source technology, and emerging technologies.

The event will showcase a Digital Village, complete with live experience zones, exhibits on interactive technology, and live demonstration booths on a variety of interesting concepts, hinged around the internet of things, augmented and virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robotics, smart city solutions, fintech, health-tech, autonomous cars, and cyber security, amongst others. The event is jointly organized by Ministry of Communications (Department of Telecommunications) and COAI.

KPMG & COAI release report titled “New Digital Horizons – Connect, Create and Innovate. The digital economy is expected to cross USD 1 trillion by FY22, according to the report. Highlighting the detailed trends in ICT sector, it predicted that mobile data usage in India, which is already high, is further expected to surge 5 times by the 2023. This will further witness digital diversity in the online audience taking it from the current 225 million in FY18 to 550 million by FY23.

The near ubiquitous reach of connectivity makes the telecom sector the key enabler to deliver development to the very last mile through Digital India and a Mobile First approach. This report highlights how the New Digital Horizon is un-folding for India and the pivotal role that telecom sector plays in providing India an opportunity to power ahead of the rest of the world as a digital economy. The report focuses on how the trinity of regulators, academia and industry can collaborate to Connect India, create an ecosystem for ICT players to thrive to contribute to the growth of digital India and Innovate to bring in faster growth in technology adoption and network solutions – that will allow for a hitherto unforeseen socio-economic development for the country.

Speaking at the launch, Rajan S Mathews, Director General, COAI said “The report bears cognizance of the fact that a New Digital Horizon is making its mark and the telecom sector is playing an indispensable role in catapulting India’s economy to forge ahead of the rest of the world. The prized trinity – regulators, academia and industry are collaborating to Connect India, create an ecosystem for ICT players to thrive and to contribute to the growth of digital India and Innovate – to bring in a faster growth in technology adoption and network solutions. We envision an empowered society where every individual participates in the socio-economic growth of the country.”

Speaking on the findings of the report, Purushothaman KG, Partner – TMT Advisory, KPMG in India, said, “Our studies globally, across 15 countries including India, ranks India in the top three on tech leadership and shows most promise for disruptive technological breakthroughs that will have a global impact. Our studies also show that IoT followed by AI, robotics, and blockchain will make India a leading game changer in ushering the digital revolution. Despite some of the challenges faced by the ecosystem, India is the fastest growing and second largest telecom market in the world. India will see a wonderful convergence between connectivity, user driven content and disruption in technology that will lead a way to a digital India. India therefore offers immense potential and a strong destination for investors.”

As technologies have started traversing across industries, business models are going to be disrupted. KPMG survey also highlighted that media and entertainment, followed by automotive, retail, FS, and education are likely to be disrupted the most.  To remain at the epicenter of this revolution, telecom operators will have to innovate beyond connectivity. It needs to become the platform to allow the interplay of these technologies to create digital solutions across varied industries

Not only is the Indian telecom sector furthering the government’s ambitious Digital India program so that it reaches all and sundry, but it is now playing an instrumental role in bringing in innovative technologies such as 5G, M2M, AI, AR, and VR, which will shape India in the coming times by permeating and transforming every sector linked to economic development. The mobile and the internet have played a decisive role in democratizing technology and democratizing access to services and use cases, based on these very technologies.

Although 5G is likely to be the key enabler of the fourth industrial revolution and an integrated ecosystem across B2B, B2C, and B2G, till it is launched, the telcos will have to improve on its existing networks to enhance its performance. To succeed, they will need to learn new ways of working in the new ecosystem so that they can accelerate their digital strategies and opportunities, make the right level of innovation investments, and stay ahead of customer needs.

5G stole the limelight at IMC 2018 Day 1, with Live Demonstrations. A number of exhibitors including Reliance Jio Infocomm, Intel, Nokia and Qualcomm participated in 5G trials. This was the first time people could get a glimpse of what is to be expected from 5G in the years to come and how it can affect the scope and development of futuristic technologies. A number of discussions were pivoted around how such technologies will shape India’s digital future. The sessions showcased India’s 5G potential and the numerous unique use cases 5G will have in India. There were live 5G demonstrations by companies such as Nokia, Ericsson, Qualcomm, Reliance Jio infocomm, and the like.

The introductory panel discussion, around the theme, The India Story (Stack 3.0) – Connect, Create, Innovate, was the pick of the conference sessions. The second-half of the day saw a number of interesting and vital discussions on The Evolving Regulatory Landscape in the New Digital Ecosystem-Regulatory Brief, Enabling Futuristic Networks – Reducing complexity to Redefine connectivity, Digital Identity – A revolution or a threat, Connecting the Unconnected – Building Next-Gen ICT Infrastructure for the Masses, Gadgets of Tomorrow – Connected Intelligence, graced by speakers including Ajit Pai, Chairman, U.S. Federal Communications Commission; David Hammarwall, Head of Product Line 5G RAN, Product Area Networks, Ericsson; Vinayak Godse, Senior Director, Data Security Council of India; Bimal Dayal, CEO, Indus Towers; and Jonathan Wood, Senior Director, Intel Next Generation and Standards, Intel.

IMC 2018 also hosted the ASEAN & BIMSTEC Conclave which was addressed by delegates including Manoj Sinha, and 16 other ministers from ASEAN and BIMSTEC Countries. These included Pichet Durongkaveroj, Minister of Digital Economy and Society, Govt. of Thailand; H.E. Khennavong Bounsaleumsay, Vice Minister, Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) Lao PDR; Thant Sin Maung, Union Minister of Transport and Communications, Govt. of Myanmar; Chea Manit, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Posts & Telecommunications (MPTC); Tram Iv Tek, Minister of Posts and Telecommunication; and M Shahidul Islam, Secretary General, BIMSTEC. A number of topics curated for consumer interest garnered excitement and enthusiastic participation from the delegates. One such session involved a discussion on “Smart Cities: Automating the way we live”.

Speech, Mukesh D Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries Limited at the inaugural session.

“India that is poised to embrace an immensely exciting future. Just one data point…

In my lifetime, I have always been told that India has the largest number of extremely poor people in the world.  But that is no longer the case today.

A World Bank report indicates that India will have fewer than 3 percent of its population living under extreme poverty by 2021.

As per a United Nations report as many as 271 million people have been liberated from the prison of poverty in the last decade alone.

This is a truly historic achievement and the credit rightly belongs to all our citizens.

Today, India is among the fastest growing large economies in the world.

This has happened due to a combination of force-multiplying factors.

Most notable among these is the visionary leadership of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. During the past 5 years, he has galvanized India. He has launched more number of transformative initiatives than in a comparable period anywhere in the world.

An equally important factor is the contribution of Indian entrepreneurs, especially those in the telecom, IT and digital space. Never before has India witnessed such an explosion of entrepreneurial spirit.

India has moved from 155th rank in mobile broadband penetration to being the number 1 nation in mobile data consumption in the world in less than 2 years. This is the fastest transition anywhere in the world from 2G/3G to 4G.

By 2020, I believe that India will be a fully-4G country and ready for 5G ahead of others. Every phone in India will be a 4G enabled phone and every customer will have access to 4G connectivity.

At Jio, we are committed to connecting everyone and everything everywhere always with the highest quality and the most affordable price.

 What gives me special satisfaction is the silent revolution taking place in rural India. I am personally excited about the promise and prospect of bringing Digital Revolution to India’s villages to agriculture and rural enterprises to women and to marginalized communities everywhere.

I am equally excited about connecting millions of small shop-keepers in India. The Digital Connectivity Revolution can transform Rural India most comprehensively.

In the past 8 months alone, as many as 50 million villagers have got affordable smartphones. For most of them, it is not only their pehla phone but also their pehla radio and music player, pehla TV, pehla camera, and pehla internet in their lives.

Imagine what this 5-in-1 means for the aspirational explosion in India. And imagine how it can transform India when it becomes 6-in-1 with Indians getting the revolutionary power of pehla artificial intelligence in their hands. All this at only Rs. 100 per month.

This combination of connectivity with affordability is unparalleled in the world. I would like to acknowledge the contribution of the government’s BharatNet program in providing high-quality connectivity in some of the remotest areas of our country. This transformation will accelerate as we get ready for a 5G world driven by the pro-active approach of the government.

Today at the IMC, you can experience 5G and its various use-cases in our pavilion. Friends, with JioGigaFiber, we have now begun an ambitious push in fixed broadband through fiber-to-the-home and premise. Jio is committed to building a deep-fiber network across the country and ensuring that every premise is connected with the highest quality network. All of us are proud that India has become the world’s largest mobile data consuming nation.  We now have a similar opportunity to replicate this success in fixed broadband as well. I believe India will rise from a lowly 135th rank to be amongst the top three nations in fixed broadband at a pace that will surprise the world. And from day one, JioGigaFiber will offer complete fixed-mobile convergence where Indians will travel seamlessly between mobile and fixed broadband networks 4G and 5G when on the move and Wi-Fi when indoors. Friends, we can together create a period of unprecedented growth, empowerment, employment, and prosperity for everyone across our great nation. In a future that will be shaped by the 4th Industrial Revolution. A future founded on the robust pillars of connectivity, computing, and data. A future powered by path-breaking digital technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, blockchain, internet of things, virtual reality, and augmented reality. A future of exponential growth and immense opportunities for 130 crore connected Indians. This revolution will open the floodgates of limitless possibilities for India and Indians, especially young Indians.

I assure you that our industry will play the role of a catalyst in this mission of propelling our nation toward this bright future. We have to be mindful that data is the most important resource in this new world. And India and Indians will generate humungous amount of data. It is important that we utilize this rich-resource for the benefit of India and Indians, with adequate safeguards. With universal connectivity and extreme affordability, our Prime Minister’s inspiring idea of ease of living for all can now be realized. With world-class digital infrastructure in place, India is now ready to not only embrace but actually lead the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This is because, each one of the 130 crore people of India can now productively participate in the 4th Industrial Revolution. We can solve the largest unsolved problems facing humanity, right here in India.

Let me mention only four.

First. The 4th Industrial Revolution can realize the Prime Minister’s promise of doubling the incomes of 150 million Indian farmers.

Second. It can realize the Ayushman Bharat scheme’s promise of bringing healthcare to 500 million people ─ the largest health insurance initiative in the world.

Third. It can bring quality education to 200 million students in Indian schools and colleges.

Fourth, and not the least, it can create more jobs with the digitally-connected and AI-powered marketplace of small merchants and small enterprises ─ which I call new commerce for new India.

India will demonstrate the greatest digital transformation in people’s lives in world history. India will be among the largest digital markets in the world.  Every enterprise must have an ‘India First’ vision to participate in this market.  We will need to reinvent to grow and nurture this market to its full potential. This will be a win-win for the entire industry for India and for the entire world. To achieve this we need a grand coalition – of everyone in the industry, government, civil society, and the citizens. I strongly believe that India will enable every citizen to realize her fullest potential on the back of this grand coalition.

May God bless our great nation… India.”

Vendor Participation.

Samsung announced its plan for India’s first large-scale 5G trial, scheduled to take place in the first quarter of 2019 in collaboration with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). In his keynote speech at the event, Youngky Kim, President and Head of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, said, “Samsung will pave the way for 5G to unlock the full potential of India together with industry leaders.” “We are witnessing a rise in adoption of new technologies, inspired by ‘Digital India’ and spurred by the transition to 4G,” he said.

MediaTek announced the launch of the Helio P70 system-on-chip (SoC), with an enhanced AI engine combined with CPU and GPU upgrades for more powerful AI processing. Helio P70 also comes with upgraded imaging and camera support, a gaming performance boost and advanced connectivity features. The Helio P70 packs all these upgrades into an ultra power-efficient chipset to meet the most demanding user needs. The introduction of the Helio P70 follows the global launch of the Helio P60 earlier this year, and builds on its hallmark features to power the “New Premium” market of full-featured smartphones at affordable price points.

Nokia’s state-of-the-art manufacturing unit in Chennai has started manufacturing 5G New Radio (NR) based on the 3GPP 5G New Radio Release 15 standard. It is the factory to start manufacturing 5G radio equipment in India. The Chennai plant is one of the largest telecom equipment manufacturing plant in the country, recently reaching the 4 million units annual production milestone of 2G, 3G and 4G units. It serves both domestic as well as global customers, shipping to over 100 countries.  As part of an on-going program, known as the ‘Conscious Factory’, the Nokia Chennai plant recently implemented the first ‘real-world’ Smart Manufacturing application of Industry 4.0 in India leveraging solutions such as augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), connected Robotics, artificial intelligence, big data analytics, and internet of things to enhance operations and increase productivity.  The plant is equipped with cutting-edge manufacturing technologies, such as the state-of-the-art surface mounting technology, with a capacity of 12.8 billion components every year, 3D automated optical inspection and X-Ray inspection capability.

Huawei reiterated its commitment to bringing 5G to India with full range end-to-end technology showcase. Conducting industry’s first 5G use case demos in partnership with Airtel, Huawei paves roads to a fully connected and intelligent world.

Jay Chen, CEO, Huawei India said, “Huawei has been a long-term partner to India and an active collaborator to the Indian telecom industry. Having partnered India in its 4G revolution, the 5G demos are the next step in bringing world class technologies and solutions to India, helping operators enable 5G network deployments, explore possible use cases and facilitate business success. With our 5G demonstrations in partnership with Indian operators, (Bharti Airtel) we would like to involve everyone in the process, and give India a glimpse of the digital future.”

Randeep Sekhon, Chief Technology Officer, Bharti Airtel said, “Ubiquitous high speed networks will open doors to a digital world that will be full of exciting digital innovations. Having conducted India’s first in-lab 5G test with Huawei, we are delighted to extend our partnership to demonstrate cutting edge AR and VR based use cases for 5G.”

ZTE Corporation unveiled a series of cutting-edge 5G solutions and products. With the slogan of Leading 5G Innovations, it presented its exhibition from the aspects of Progressively 5G Commercialization, Boundless 5G Connectivity, Intelligent 5G Cloudification, and Smart Devices. ZTE introduced the latest progress in standard setting, product development, commercial verification and industrial cooperation, showing its 5G leadership in commercialization, technologies and economies of scale.

ZTE demonstrated a series of 5G commercial field trials with three major Chinese operators and multiple overseas operators. For instance, the most prominent 3.5GHz based 5G continuous coverage experimental network is the closest to the commercial 5G network. In addition, ZTE showcased a new generation of low-frequency AAU based on the 3.5GHz frequency band and the industry’s largest capacity NG BBU, which can support both 4G and 5G and fully meet the requirements of 5G commercial networks. The vendor presented NSA 4G and 5G converged networking solutions based on the 3GPP standard, as well as a series of multi-band, multi-standard new products. For instance, ZTE’s optical access flagship platform Titan is the industry’s most powerful optical cable equipment. ZTE introduced a variety of leading 5G solutions, and smart devices,

NI announced the release of NI Trend Watch 2019. The report examines the most crucial engineering trends and challenges of the changing technology landscape, including the Internet of Things (IoT), the progression of 5G technology from prototyping to commercial deployment and autonomous driving for the masses.

“These engineering trends are disrupting industries and product testing, leading to complex, unprecedented challenges,” said Shelley Gretlein, NI vice president of global marketing. “However, they also drive extraordinary innovation, which requires a fundamental shift in our approach to automated test and automated measurement – a shift that is grounded in software-defined systems.”

NI Trend Watch 2019 delves into the following topics to inform and help automated test and automated measurement organizations prepare for the fast-approaching and exciting future of technology.

5G Ushers in a New Era of Wireless Test , Imminent Trade-Offs for Achieving Autonomous Driving; Keep Pace With a Standardized Development ProcessMaking the IoT Work for Test, and Multi-Industry Convergence Disrupts Test Strategies.

What to Expect on Day 2? Day 2 will open with the Global CEO Conclave, setting the stage for CXOs and top-tier management from leading international brands such as Samsung, Huawei, Ericsson, Qualcomm, Nokia, Intel and Cisco to come together and discuss various aspects of the TMT and ICT worlds. The Global CEO Conclave will be divided into four segments: Networks of Tomorrow, Emerging Technologies, Power of Content and Open Source Tech.

It will also see brand executives, industry leaders and officials come together for conferences on the latest technology trends and developments with sessions like ‘Pro-Innovation Regulation and Privacy- Encouraging New Digital Business Models’, ‘HealthTech – Age of Cyborgs’, ‘Artificial Intelligence: Innovation, Investments, Ethics and Responsibilities’ and ‘Next Generation Devices’.

– CT Bureau

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