Reliance Jio, one of India’s leading telecom operators, has put forth a proposal to the Indian government advocating for the phase-out of 2G and 3G networks in the country. This proposal is aligned with their strategic focus on 4G and 5G services, aiming to boost the development of a modern telecommunications infrastructure in India.
Jio’s proposal was made in response to a consultation paper from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on the topic of “Digital Transformation through 5G Ecosystem.” Jio’s argument is centered around the transformative potential of 5G technology. They believe that 5G services and their associated ecosystems will play a pivotal role in India’s digital transformation by offering faster and more reliable connectivity. This advanced technology is not only expected to enhance current digital services but also to enable new business models and revenue streams across various sectors, including IoT (Internet of Things), Industry 4.0, autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and AI-driven smart factories.
Interestingly, unlike its competitors Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi), Jio does not operate any 2G or 3G networks. This makes their proposal particularly significant, as it suggests a complete shift towards more advanced network technologies. Vi also supports this initiative, citing the digital divide created by the continued use of older technology and the barriers to accessing newer 4G and 5G technologies, particularly due to the high cost of smartphones.
Jio has also emphasized the need for the government to allocate a significant amount of spectrum for 5G connectivity. They suggest that the auction of additional spectrum bands, such as the 6GHz band, full C-Band, and 28GHz, would be crucial to implementing robust 5G connectivity in India.
It’s important to note that these suggestions from Jio and other telecom operators do not guarantee that the Indian government will take immediate action to shut down 2G and 3G networks. However, if the government decides to proceed with this proposal, it is expected that there will be ample time and support provided to citizens to facilitate a smooth transition to the more advanced networks.
Overall, Jio’s proposal to phase out 2G and 3G networks marks a significant step towards embracing more advanced digital technologies and could have a substantial impact on the telecom sector in India, driving innovation and economic development.