Ashwini Vaishnaw Announces Telecom Reforms Including Spectrum Regulatory Sandbox

Ashwini Vaishnaw Announces Telecom Reforms Including Spectrum Regulatory Sandbox

New Delhi, March 12 (TNA) Minister of Communications Ashwini Vaishnaw on Monday launched the Curtain Raiser of World Telecom Standardization Assembly Delhi 2024 (WTSA 2024) and India Mobile Congress (IMC 2024). The International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) prestigious WTSA event will be held from 15-24 Oct 2024 preceded by the Global Standards Symposium (GSS 2024) on 14 Oct 2024 and the eighth edition of Asia’s premier digital technology exhibition, IMC 2024 from 15-19 Oct 2024 at Pragati Maidan in New Delhi.

While emphasising the importance of collaboration and cooperation among stakeholders to propel the sector forward, the Telecommunications Minister announced telecom reforms and reiterated the government's commitment to driving reforms in the telecom sector to create a conducive environment for investment and innovation.

During the event, he also unveiled the policy on Spectrum Regulatory Sandbox that holds the potential to advance India's telecommunications landscape and foster global collaboration in the field. Minister also announced a complete abolition of Wireless Operating License (WOL) that further simplifies the licensing processes in telecom.

The Minister noted the significance of hosting the WTSA in India, saying that it presents an opportunity for global engagement and impact. He proposed involving engineering colleges nationwide and their students in event discussions, aiming to ignite young minds and foster innovation.

The MoC underlined the pivotal role of technology in advancing the country's development and advocated for initiatives such as setting up 5G labs and modifying course curricula to integrate students into technology programs from an early stage.

The Secretary suggested to organize side events in technology hubs like Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore, and Chennai to broaden participation, alongside events like IMC 2024.

Ashwini Vaishnaw also pointed out that the implementation of regulatory sandboxes to streamline equipment testing procedures will go a long way in fostering innovation and ease of access. He also said that the removal of the wireless operating license requirement reflects ongoing reforms to facilitate technological progress. He called for upscaling the IMC 2024 by involving many more tech companies and tech Universities and creating awareness among students about evolving technologies.

An MoU was also signed between the Department of Telecommunications and Ericsson in the presence of the Minister for offering accredited courses on 5G for students of DoT's 100 5G use case labs. The project aims to strengthen capacity building and skill development in the 100 5G use case labs, enabling institutes to mentor students and faculties in creating innovative 5G products and use cases.

Telecom Secretary Dr Neeraj Mittal said that we are on the cusp of a rising era in the technological landscape and stressed the need for universal participation. He sought cooperation from all stakeholders to make the IMC 2024 much more upscale than the IMC 2023. Dr Mittal pointed out that there has been an acknowledgement of the previous year's success at IMC 2023 and the positive feedback received at international events like MWC 2024 in Barcelona. He said, with support from the govt. and industry we need to scale up IMC from Asia’s largest forum to a global level.

Dr Mittal also said the WTSA 2024 offers a golden opportunity to set up new standards for us. He outlined that reforms such as the launch of Spectrum Regulatory Sandbox and the Abolition of Wireless Operating license requirements are notable as steps to unleash telecom's potential. He said plans are discussed to engage students and educational institutions more effectively and emphasise the importance of gender diversity with a focus on encouraging more participation from young women.

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