Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani, in a virtual address, congratulated the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) for commemorating the Silver Jubilee of mobility in India.
In his short, yet impactful speech, Ambani spoke about the four fundamental ways in which mobile telephony has changed, and has in turn transformed India. The RIL chairman also spoke about how people are making the best use of phones by accessing and exchanging knowledge, especially during the pandemic.
He also assured of Jio's commitment to making fullest contribution to the advancement of our Prime Minister's Digital India mission.
Read the full text of the speech below:
Hon’ble Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad Ji, esteemed officials, my fellow industrialists and colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon to each and every one of you.
My hearty congratulations to the Department of telecommunications and the COAI of India for commemorating the Silver Jubilee of mobility in India, 25 amazing years. What a proud milestone it is in our nation's journey of progress and prosperity, Desh ki Digital Udaan. You could not have thought of a more appropriate name for this commemoration. India truly took a big flight into the bright future with the advent of mobile telephony in 1995.
There are rare moments in history. When fiction becomes fact, constraint makes way for freedom and necessity becomes the proverbial mother of invention. The Birth of fixed-line telephony was one of them. However, it provided only partial freedom of communication. It did not completely remove the constraint of distance, people needed to communicate from anywhere to anywhere 24x7. It was both their need, and their dream. Technology answered their dream and entrepreneurship satisfied this need.
Friends, the transition from landline to mobile was undoubtedly a revolutionary disruption. However, in the past 25 years, mobile telephony itself has undergone many disruptive and transformational changes. I can count four fundamental ways in which mobile telephony has changed, and has in turn changed, India.
First mobility has become affordable beyond all expectations. In 1995, the cost of a per-minute call from one cell phone was 24 rupees. 16 rupees for the caller and eight rupees for the called. Now, voice calls are free, without any time limit.
Second, because mobility became affordable it also became democratic it ceased to be a rich man's monopoly, long ago. Indeed, no other technological tool in human history has erased the rich, poor, divide the way mobile telephony has.
Third, from uni-functional, cell phones have become multifunctional because of the mobile internet. The combination of the connectivity revolution and the computation revolution has opened the floodgates of human creativity.
Fourth, and most important with data becoming both abundant and affordable, mobile telephony has become a catalyst for enrichment, and empowerment of common Indians in ways that was unthinkable 25 years ago.People are now, accessing and exchanging knowledge on their phones. They are receiving news on their phones.
They are buying and selling goods and services on their phones.They are making payments on their phones.
They are working from home and studying from home on their phones. They are participating in virtual meetings, like the one we are having now.
The ongoing COVID lockdown has provided the best examples of how mobile phones are empowering people. They have kept the nation connected, and they have kept the wheels of the economy running. What all this goes to show is how digital mobility is realizing Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's vision of improving the ease of living for common Indians.
Friends, as we celebrate the Silver Jubilee of mobility in our country. I am both humbled and happy to mention the significant contribution that Jio has made, and is continuing to make in India's digital Udaan. In less than four years since its inception, Jio has brought the fruits of digital revolution to the largest number of mobile users in India. Jio has become the trailblazer in affordability, quality and functional versatility.
We are now rolling out our vision of digital platforms and partnerships. This will provide the most advanced technological tools of empowerment to millions of our farmers, small merchants, consumers, small and medium enterprises, students, teachers, health care workers and innovators. This will also create new and attractive employment and livelihood opportunities for our talented youth.
Today I reiterate, Jio’s commitment to make our fullest contribution to the advancement of our Prime Minister's Digital India mission.
Hon’ble Minister Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad Ji, as we take legitimate pride in the achievements of mobility in the last 25 years. This is also an occasion for us to look at the obstacles that have prevented Indian consumers and Indian society from fully benefiting from the digital revolution. Here I specifically referred to the fact that India still has 300 million mobile subscribers trapped in the 2G era. Their feature phones, keep them excluded, even from the basic uses of internet at a time where both India and the rest of the world are standing at the doorsteps of 5G telephony. I think necessary policy steps should be taken with the utmost urgency to make 2G a part of history.
Distinguished colleagues and friends, it is obvious that the next 25 years will bring even more breathtaking changes in mobility. 25 years ago, India was behind the developed world in mobility. Now the time has come for India to be ahead of the rest of the world in key areas of technology. Let's all work together to realize this vision and mission.
Disclosure: Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments