The curtain raiser for India Mobile Congress 2018 (IMC) took place on April 13, Friday where the Minister of Communications, Manoj Sinha announced that the event will be held between October 25-27 this year. The central theme around which this year's IMC will revolve is “New Digital Horizons: Connect. Create. Innovate.”, with a focus on 5G and other fields like blockchain, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, VR and AR, big data and more. The event will take place in New Delhi and IMC expects more than 200,000 professionals from the Telecom industry and 1,300 exhibitors to attend the event for demonstrating 5G and representing the startup ecosystem, Internet of Things (IoT) as well as Smart Cities.
“The India Mobile Congress 2018, hosted by the Department of Telecommunications and the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), is an excellent platform for policy makers, industry and regulators to engage in meaningful deliberations to drive the future direction of this important sector. This year, we will also be honoured by the presence of our friends from ASEAN and BIMSTEC which will lend a global connect to our exchanges. I Take this opportunity to invite you to be a part of the India Mobile Congress 2018 in October this year, and look forward to meeting you at this key annual event”, Sinha said addressing a gathering of press. Emphasising the importance of being a 5G readynation given that the technology is being implemented around the world, he said, “it’s a bus we cannot afford to miss.”
Speaking to Digit about how the advent of 5G will change the way things currently are in the country and whether there will be devices to actually make use of the new technology, Rajan S Mathews, Director General of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said, “One of the first things we are ensuring is that India is ready for 5G. It may be a couple of years away but we are preparing ourselves in terms of standards, ecosystem and infrastructure. So in IMC, we will not only see the showcase of 5G but also other technologies which will ride on it like robotics, automated manufacturing, education and more.” Speaking about the challenges of 5G implementation in our country he added that, “In order for India to be at the forefront of 5G, we need to develop standards, IP rights, and commence manufacturing of the required equipments ourselves.”
Aruna Sundararajan, Chairperson of Telecom Commission and Secretary of DoT said, “We are at the cusp of a tectonic shift in human history with the advent of futuristic technologies such as 5G and IoT. India is gearing up to embrace this new digital future with our focus on 5G readiness and the facilitation of new technology adoption across sectors. We firmly believe that the India Mobile Congress platform will be instrumental in driving this, by bringing together all stakeholders in the Telecommunications and IT ecosystem and providing the right forum for deliberations on the way forward in connectivity solutions.”
Partner countries from ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) will also be taking part in the event and according to Matthews the use of 5G will be pertinent to India and will also apply for other countries as well.