R.S. Sharma, Chairman, TRAI says, Cable TV an efficient alternative for taking internet

The 27th Convergence India 2019 expo and conference, which opened today at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi, kicked off a three-day long exhibition and conference, which will see 600+ exhibitors and delegates from 30+ countries.

Shri R.S. Sharma, Chairman, TRAI, said during a session titled Digital India – Connecting the Unconnected at the 27th Convergence India 2019 expo, “India is a country that can lead innovations for solving specific problems. Fibre is just one way and not the only way of establishing connectivity. When we talk about taking internet and broadband to the remoter regions of the country, we need to explore other alternatives too. Cable TV, for instance, can be one of the most efficient ways of taking internet to the farther corners of India, and we can learn a lot of from some of the most successful internet and television companies of the world. We need to be open to other channels, be it satellites, cable, or wireless, and work towards developing newer, holistic technologies that overcome existing challenges to building a fully connected nation. We are also working on strengthening nation-wide connectivity through Bharatnet, which will play a major role in enhancing the country’s overall infrastructure in the near future.”

BharatNet focuses on bringing high-speed broadband connectivity to rural India. In collaboration with Bharat Broadband Network Limited (BBNL), the government has taken a step forward to connect nearly 2,50,000 Gram Panchayats. The programme will offer such benefits such as facilitating connectivity of Gram Panchayat level offices like schools, panchayat offices, post offices etc.; services like certificates, telehealth, e-Education, agriculture information, etc. to rural population; help reduce the digital divide across socio-economic strata; and provide learning and employment opportunities for rural youth.

Dr. Neena Pahuja, Director General, ERNET, India, said, “Today, the convergence of various telecommunications channels offers us the chance to deliver enhanced services to consumers. We can use different alternatives like the vast network of power cable lines to send data, although not high-speed internet, but data at nominals speeds to at least provide a basic level of internet connectivity in those areas where broadband or mobile/wireless internet penetration is still very low. That’s the kind of convergence we have already begun working on. From education to healthcare to automobiles, connectivity is the underlying requirement to create inter-linked systems that can exchange data and solve major problems. In states like Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh where we have laid fibre, we have seen frequent connectivity disruptions simply due to bad weather and no other reason. This is why we need more research that can come up with alternative methods of building a fibre network across different geographies.”

Shri Gulzar Azad, Country Head Connectivity, Google India, said, “These are very exciting times and even though we are still at the early days of technology convergence, the future is particularly promising. Fibre over the air is one of the most important innovations in terms of connectivity and will change how DTH and internet services are delivered. This will be done either through a full fibre stack or last-mile technology enabled by 5G. This is also dependent on various factors like how high-end fibre spectrum is distributed, how fibre over the air technology evolves, and also the fact that set top boxes will have to be manufactured in a way as to be able to provide data.”

FSO or fibre over the air systems support all types of data transmission including voice and video. It is typically used for short-haul bandwidth-intensive applications where cable systems are not available or too costly to implement.

Convergence India focuses on showcasing how Internet of Things, cloud computing and big data, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, social media and wearable technologies are shaping numerous industries. The 27th Convergence India 2019/EmbeddedTech India 2019 expos are co-organised by India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) and Exhibitions India Group. The 3rd Internet of Things India 2019 expo is co-organised by NASSCOM Centre of Excellence – Internet of Things (CoE-IoT).

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