India is set to host the prestigious World Telecommunication Standardisation Assembly (WTSA) in 2024, marking a significant step towards the advancements of 5G and 6G networks. Union Communication & IT Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, made this announcement at the India Mobile Congress 2023, emphasizing the country’s growing importance in the global technology landscape.
Significance of World Telecommunication Standardisation Assembly
The World Telecommunication Standardisation Assembly (WTSA) is a quadrennial event and serves as the governing conference of the ITU Standardisation Sector (ITU-T). It is one of the three world conferences organized by the International Telecommunication Union, an entity within the United Nations system. This event plays a pivotal role in setting global telecommunication standards, making India’s hosting of the WTSA a significant milestone.
India’s Technological Advancements
Minister Vaishnaw underscored India’s significant role in technology adoption. The world is closely watching India’s technological advancements and hosting the WTSA is a testament to the nation’s growing importance in the global tech landscape. As India continues to innovate and make strides in various technology sectors, it is becoming a prominent player in the global tech ecosystem. One of the notable achievements is the development of the 5Gi standard within India, which has gained recognition from the ITU as one of the key technologies for 5G networks.
Addressing Connectivity Challenges
India, like many countries, faces connectivity challenges, particularly in remote and underserved areas. Minister Vaishnaw acknowledged this issue, emphasizing the government’s commitment to addressing it. Hosting the WTSA is a step towards addressing these challenges and promoting wider access to technology across the nation.
India’s Transformation in the Telecom Sector
The minister underlined the transformation of India’s telecom sector under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He mentioned that a decade ago, India used to import nearly 98% of its mobile phones, but in the past year, the country exported mobile devices worth Rs.90,000 crore. This shift reflects India’s growing prowess in manufacturing and technology, making it a net exporter.
Furthermore, it was noted that the telecom sector has come a long way from the 2G spectrum scams that marred its reputation a decade ago. India has now emerged as a beacon for affordable internet data and technology leadership.
Establishment of ITU Areas Office and Innovative Centre
In a significant development, Minister Vaishnaw and Houlin Zhao, the Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), signed the Host Country Agreement (HCA) for the establishment of an Area Office and Innovation Centre of ITU in New Delhi on 3 March 2022. This agreement provides the legal and financial framework for the establishment and operation of the area office, further solidifying India’s role in the global telecommunications arena.