Reliance Jio, the nation's biggest telecom firm, will expand 5G telephony services offering ultra-high-speed internet connectivity to every part of the country by December 2023, its chairman Mukesh Ambani said on Saturday.
Jio had in September 2016 made an entry into the telecom sector, offering free voice calls and dirt-cheap data, forcing the competition to either match or fold up/consolidate.
Mr. Ambani has now promised affordable 5G services.
"Today, I want to reiterate Jio's commitment to delivering 5G to every town, every taluka, and every tehsil of our country by December 2023," he said at the India Mobile Congress (IMC) conference here.
Mr. Ambani at his flagship Reliance Industries Ltd's annual shareholder meeting in August announced the rollout of 5G services from four metro cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata by Diwali.
Most of Jio's 5G is developed in India, and hence carries the stamp of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat', he said, adding 5G and 5G-enabled digital solutions can bring affordable and high-quality education and skill development within the reach of common Indians.
It can deliver high-quality healthcare to rural and remote areas by turning existing hospitals into smart hospitals without much additional investment, making the services of the best doctors digitally available anywhere in India as well as improving the speed and accuracy of diagnostics and enabling real-time clinical decision making.
5G can also bridge the gap between urban and rural India by accelerating digitisation and intelligent data management of agriculture, services, trade, industry, informal sector, transportation and energy infrastructure, he said.
"By bringing AI into every domain, 5G can power India's emergence as the world's intelligence capital. This will help India become a major exporter of high-value digital solutions and services," he said, adding all these will trigger a huge explosion of entrepreneurship in the country, which in turn will attract even larger investments and create millions of new jobs.
Mr. Ambani said by harnessing the combined power of demography and digital technologies, India can become the world's leading digital society, accelerating growth by making India a $40 trillion economy by 2047, up from $3 trillion now and increasing per capita income rapidly to over $20,000, from $2,000.
"It will not be an exaggeration to say that 5G is like a Digital Kamadhenu, the heavenly cow that grants whatever we desire," he said.
With 5G, India will take longer and faster strides towards 'Sab Ka Digital Saath and Sab Ka Digital Vikas', he said. "India may have started a little late, but we'll finish first by rolling out 5G services that are of higher quality and more affordable than anywhere else in the world," Mr. Ambani said 5G is much more than just the next generation of connectivity technology, offering foundational technology that unlocks the full potential of other transformative technologies like artificial intelligence, internet of things, robotics, blockchain, and the metaverse.