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Minister of Communications Launches Curtain Raiser for WTSA 2024 and IMC 2024

New Delhi: The Minister of Communications, Ashwini Vaishnaw, inaugurated the Curtain Raiser for the World Telecom Standardization Assembly Delhi 2024 (WTSA 2024) and India Mobile Congress (IMC 2024) during a ceremony held today. The prestigious International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) WTSA event is scheduled from October 15 to 24, 2024, with a Global Standards Symposium (GSS 2024) on October 14, followed by the eighth edition of the India Mobile Congress from October 15 to 19, 2024, at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

Emphasizing collaboration and cooperation among stakeholders to propel the telecom sector forward, Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced key telecom reforms and reiterated the government’s commitment to creating a conducive environment for investment and innovation in the telecom sector. He unveiled the policy on Spectrum Regulatory Sandbox, a significant step to advance India’s telecommunications landscape and foster global collaboration. Additionally, the Minister announced the complete abolition of the Wireless Operating License (WOL), simplifying licensing processes in telecom.

Highlighting the importance of hosting WTSA in India, Minister Vaishnaw proposed involving engineering colleges and students nationwide in event discussions to ignite young minds and foster innovation. He underscored the pivotal role of technology in advancing the country’s development and advocated for initiatives like setting up 5G labs and modifying course curriculum to integrate students into technology programs from an early stage.

The Minister also pointed out that the implementation of regulatory sandboxes for equipment testing procedures would foster innovation and ease of access. The removal of the wireless operating license requirement reflects ongoing reforms to facilitate technological progress. He called for upscaling IMC 2024 by involving more tech companies, tech universities, and creating awareness among students about evolving technologies.

An MoU was signed between the Department of Telecommunications and Ericsson 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 stressed the need for universal participation in the rising era of the technological landscape. He sought cooperation from all stakeholders to make IMC 2024 more upscale than IMC 2023. Dr. Mittal suggested organizing side events in technology hubs like Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore, and Chennai to broaden participation, alongside events like IMC 2024. He distributed certificates to some girl students on Courses on 5G.

Sh. Seizo ONOE, ITU Director of Telecom Standardization Bureau (TSB), virtually joined the event, stressing ITU’s commitment to safety and inclusivity in AI and digital tech, urging collaboration. He praised India’s role in digital development and highlighted that the IMC would provide an excellent opportunity for the international committee to meet with Indian innovators.

Dr. Monisha Ghosh, Professor, University of Notre Dame, virtually addressed the event as a foreign delegate, emphasizing India’s prominence in the global tech sphere. She called for more collaborative efforts between the US and India in telecom initiatives, spectrum management, and research.

COAI Chairman, Mr. P K Mittal, Dot officials, industry leaders, and academia were present at the occasion. The WTSA 2024 is expected to attract over two thousand technology developers, industry leaders, academicians, and policymakers from 193 member countries, along with more than 900 associate/sector members of ITU. It sets the standardization agenda of the telecom/ICT sector for the next four years in ITU.

The IMC 2024 will focus on Artificial Intelligence, Quantum technology, and Circular Economy, with a spotlight on 6G, 5G use-case showcase, cloud & edge computing, IoT, semiconductors, cybersecurity, green tech, satcom, and electronics manufacturing. The Aspire, the flagship start-up program introduced in IMC 2023, is expected to be larger this time, drawing participation from startups, angel investors, and VC funds.

The prestigious ITU Conferences and IMC 2024 are expected to witness around 8,000 plus CXOs and industry delegates, 150,000 plus attendees, 350+ exhibitors, 400+ speakers, and 80+ sessions. The launch of these initiatives underscores the Government’s unwavering commitment to promoting technological advancement, fostering innovation, and ensuring equitable access to telecommunications services for all citizens. The DoT invites stakeholders from across the industry, academia, and civil society to join WTSA 2024 and be a part of the journey towards a connected and inclusive digital future.

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