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Telecom firms make distress call, seek govt help for 5G rollout

Three major telecom companies unanimously painted a “gloomy picture” of the sector and sought government support for the rollout of 5G, according to a member on the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information Technology.

Reliance Jio Infocomm, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel and the Department of Telecommunications briefed the panel about the country’s preparedness for 5G. The telecom companies are learnt to have sought government-aid in updating the technology and infrastructure for the 5G technology. The members will discuss the presentations made by the companies in detail.

According to the member the companies painted a “gloomy picture” of the sector and said without the government support it would be difficult for them to update the present status. “They looked more eager for government help than presenting a realistic assessment of the current situation of the section and the challenges ahead. Everyone spoke in one voice,” the member added.

BSNL doesn’t get the call
Some members also questioned the decision not to invite BSNL to present its views on the issue. “We may have to invite BSNL at a later stage. But the Government stand is that the BSNL has not implemented even 4G properly and there is no point in inviting them for a meeting in 5G preparedness,” the member said.

Another member from the Opposition camp charged that the Centre does not want the BSNL to adopt latest technologies. “They (the Centre) have killed BSNL for the sake of their crony companies,” he said.

Shashi Tharoor, a senior leader in the Congress — the principal opposition party — is the chairman of the panel. Hindu BusinessLine

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