Reliance Jio, owned by Mukesh Ambani, has strongly urged the central government to entirely shut down 2G and 3G networks in order to minimize unnecessary costs and facilitate the migration of all customers to advanced 4G and 5G networks. This request was made in response to a consulting paper titled ‘Digital Transformation through 5G Ecosystem’ released by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
In its response, Jio emphasized, “The Government should come out with a policy and glidepath for closing down the 2G and 3G networks completely so that unnecessary network costs should be avoided, and all customers can be migrated to 4G and 5G services. This will also give great impetus to developing the ecosystem for 5G use cases.”
Jio further highlighted the pivotal role that 5G services and its ecosystem will play in driving digital transformation across various industries, providing faster and more reliable connectivity. The telecom operator emphasized that the enhanced data speeds, increased bandwidth, and lower latency of 5G will empower businesses and innovators, fueling the realization of their aspirations.
Vodafone Idea also shared its perspective on the matter in response to TRAI’s consulting paper. The telecom operator acknowledged the challenge of 5G penetration in low-income groups due to the prevalence of 2G/3G-enabled smartphones in the country and the high costs associated with 5G phones.
According to Vodafone Idea, “A substantial part of the citizens in the country are generally using older technology i.e. 2G and are not able to access the new generation technology i.e. 4G and 5G despite availability of connectivity.” The operator suggested that the government should consider providing subsidies to encourage people to transition from feature phones to 5G-enabled smartphones, thereby bridging the digital divide in the country.