PM Modi inaugurates IMC 2020: Ambani, Mittal, KPMG, Ericsson, Airtel, Vi talk 5G & telecom tech

New Delhi: The Indian Mobile Congress (IMC) 2020 was inaugurated on Tuesday, 8th December. According to a press note from the Ministry of Communications, Day 1 not only welcomed the attendees with an inaugural speech by Prime Minister Narendra Modi but also witnessed a congregation of renowned industry leaders sharing insights and deliberating on the future of digital technology. The first day hosted five different sessions, deliberating on ‘Industry 4.0 – Smart Workspaces and Industries, the Automation Way’; ‘CTO Conclave – Networks of Tomorrow – Transforming Networks for 5G Enablement’; ‘CEO Conclave – Inclusive Innovation – Bridging the Digital Divide’; and ‘Telco Cloud – Frontier for Network Transformation’ and ‘Beyond 5G: Developing EU-IN Cooperation for the Next Generation of Standards’. 

The day started with a welcome by Anshu Prakash, Chairman, Digital Communications Commission & Secretary (T), Department of Telecommunications; followed by speeches from Mukesh Ambani, Chairman, Reliance Industries; Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises; Sanjay Dhotre, Minister of State (MoS) for Communications, Education and Electronics & Information Technology; and Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice. PM Modi’s inaugural address was followed by a thanksgiving talk by Lt General, Dr. SP Kochhar, DG, COAI.

After Prime Minister Modi’s address, speeches were delivered by Nunzio Mirtillo, Sr. Vice President and Head of Market Area South East Asia, Oceania & India, Ericsson; Arun Kumar, Chairman and CEO, KPMG in India; Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel; Sanjay Mashruwala, MD, Reliance Jio Infocomm; Ravinder Takkar, MD & CEO, Vodafone Idea Limited; and a vote of thanks by P. Ramakrishna, CEO, India Mobile Congress.

The inaugural session was followed by a session on ‘Industry 4.0 – Smart Workspaces and Industries, the Automation Way’. The session was moderated by Sushant Rabra from KPMG India and witnessed participation from Industry giants like Nokia Enterprise, Cisco Systems, Dell EMC, Ericsson, Altran Technologies, Red Hat, Trumind software systems, Ciena India, KPMG India, and Bharti Airtel.     

This was followed by a ‘CTO Conclave Networks of Tomorrow-Transforming Networks for 5G Enablement’. The session saw participation from organisations like Dell Technologies, Ribbon Communications, Ericsson, KPMG Asia Pacific, Red Hat, Nokia India, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Vodafone Idea, STL, Facebook, and Ityukt Digital Solutions.

Likewise, deliberating on the digital divide, the following session was around the topic ‘CEO Conclave – Inclusive Innovation – Bridging the Digital Divide’. Along with various industry giants, this session was attended by he Union Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar (IAS). 

Delving deeper into network transformation, yet another session followed, themed on ‘Telco Cloud – Frontier for Network Transformation’, in association with Accenture. This session registered participants from industry stalwarts like Red Hat, Bharti Airtel , Vi (Vodafone Idea), KPMG India, Reliance JioInfocomm, Ericsson, Ribbon Communications, Mavenir, Nokia, Ciena India, and STL.  

Laying the ground work for the future of 5G, the last session of Day 1 hinged on the premise of ‘Beyond 5G: Developing EU-IN Cooperation for the Next Generation of Standards’. Representatives from organisations like DG Connect, NITI Aayog, ETSI, DDG(S-R-I), TSDSI, C-DOT, COAI, 5GIA, and an EU Delegation attended this session.

Another major highlight of the day was the launch of ‘Thought Leader Report – CEO Outlook – Smart, Secure and Sustainable’ by Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad.

Sanjay Kaul, President-Asia Pacific & Japan, Service Provider Business, Cisco, said, “Cisco is excited to be a part of the India Mobile Congress. Though this year’s India Mobile Congress 2020 is virtual, we’re all still looking forward to the gathering of top minds to discuss topics such as building the digital ecosystem, architecting and building cloud-based service, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) offerings, – all while positioning for the inevitable shift to 5G which reflects aptly in this year’s theme all IP, Inclusive Innovation: Smart, Secure, Sustainable”

Nunzio Mirtillo, Head of Ericsson Southeast Asia, Oceania and India, said, “The Indian Government’s ‘Digital India‘ program, with its focus on empowerment, inclusion and digital transformation, relies on connectivity as its foundation –  and the mobile networks in India continue to deliver on that promise. At Ericsson, we continue to stay close to our customers, communications service providers, to help them provide the best possible connectivity and network quality to Indian consumers.”

Anku Jain, Managing Director, MediaTek India, said, “IMC 2020 is one of the biggest digital events, on a global scale, and MediaTek is happy to be a part of the first virtual edition. The inaugural session, featuring PM Narendra Modi, telecommunication sector ministers, and industry players shed light on several important aspects of ‘Digital India’ and reiterated the sector’s commitment towards enabling inclusive innovation. MediaTek has been at the forefront of the 5G revolution and is bringing 5G to everyone.”

Neeraj Gupta, Sales Head, Wireless Solutions, India & SAARC, CommScope, said, “The potential of 5G is not limited to enabling faster speeds than 4G, but it is also a combination of evolving technologies. The pandemic has led to people working from home; increasing the demand for sufficient bandwidth to support new technologies, driving a wholesale evolution of the network. This scenario has made supporting 5G networks and Wi-Fi 6 technology imperative. Investment in infrastructure including network densification, continued efforts in 4G/LTE capacity expansion, and pragmatic investments to upgrade infrastructure to support 5G networks should be the focus for mobile network operators and industry at large. Meanwhile, LTE will continue to be around for years to come and LTE coverage and capacity are expected to increase even with the arrival of 5G.”

Anand Agarwal, Group CEO, STL, said, “IMC 2020 is a landmark event for STL as we are launching 3 extremely advanced access technologies with focus on programmability and virtualisation across fibre, 5G, and Wi-Fi. All of these will enable network providers to take their optical and wireless networks to all parts of the country and to enable real-time applications for millions of users. This year culminates some longstanding efforts of STL, in terms of building a global ecosystem to develop world-class wired and wireless programmable access solutions and bringing them to market.”


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