The Department of Telecommunications is on the verge of taking a huge step towards Digital India. Shri NK Yadav, Member Services, Dot, and CMD, MTNL said that to spread the use of internet in the rural areas beyond its current 10% mark, the data needs to be made available at cheaper rates.
However, Mr Rajan Matthews, Director General of COAI, said that due to high spectrum costs and excess service tax levied by the government, this does not seem feasible. On the other hand, Mr Yadav insinuated that the government is providing an adequate amount of spectrum to the service providers and that by creating a window to trade and share it, telecom companies can cater to the data hungry market.
50 percent of rural India may have tele access, but on account of the fact that at an average two people share their access, the real number is only 25 percent and an even lower number of 10 percent, when it comes to data services. This goes to show that there won’t be a shortage of masses when services are in fact provided at cheaper rates.
This caters to the core of Digital India campaign that aims to provide cheap data access to 2.5 lakh Gram Panchayats all over the country.
On the other hand, the increasing demand for data service in the urban areas is mostly accounted for by the high interest of the youth in video services.
Mr Sanjay Sharma, Regional VP and Head Redknee South West Asia, expects the requirement of these services to grow tenfold, by the end of 2019.
There is a clear demand among service providers for an increase in the spectrum, but the government insists that the amount provided is enough. Digital India, like most other campaigns started by PM Modi sure looks promising as of now.