India Targets $100bn Investment, Nigeria Eyes Knowledge Economy Revenue

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By Emma Okonji

India’s telecoms regulator TRAI, has opened a public consultation into a four-year plan designed to propel the country into being a front-runner in the fourth industrial revolution.

In Nigeria, industry stakeholders have urged the federal government to invest in broadband infrastructure that would drive broadband penetration from the seashores to the hinterland, especially in national backbone infrastructure. This, they said,  would enable government and its citizens take better advantage of the ongoing global industrial revolution that is all about knowledge economy.

The India draft document outlines a wide range of measures to increase the availability of connectivity and improve wireless and wired broadband speeds across the country, in addition to attracting $100 billion in investment into the communications sector.

National Telecom Policy – 2018 is set to be the country’s first major statement on its targets and plan for the industry in six years.

The version drafted by TRAI covers changes to regulatory frameworks, plans to expand connectivity into rural areas, quality assurance measures, business processes guidelines and rules to stimulate adoption and development of next generation technology.

TRAI said the policy was designed to “spur the socioeconomic development” and would: “Provide reliable and secured connectivity with assured quality of service, facilitate development of infrastructure and services for new technologies including 5G and IoT, encourage innovation and manufacturing, and develop a large pool of digitally skilled man-power.”

Its plan includes further urbanisation of areas into world class cities, with the eventual aim of assuming the leadership role in the world economy.

TRAI and the government aim to achieve the vision of India becoming the “front runner of the fourth industrial revolution” by 2022.

The document was put together at the request of the Department of Technologies and follows discussions with a range of stakeholders including operators, infrastructure vendors, industry associations and consultancy companies. The consultation closes on January 19 this year.