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IMC 2020, Day 1 – The Virtual Event Flagged off with inaugural speech by PM Narendra Modi; held five different sessions around emerging technology and network transformation in India

Echoing the reverberating success of its previous instalments, the Day 1 of Indian Mobile Congress 2020 started amid much fervour. The first day not only welcomed the attendees with an inaugural speech by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, but also witnessed a profound congregation of renowned industry leaders sharing industry insiders and deliberating on the future of Digital Technology. The day hosted five different sessions, deliberating on ‘Industry 4.0 – Smart Workspaces and Industries, the Automation Way’; ‘CTO Conclave – Networks of Tomorrow – Transforming Networks for 5G Enablement’; ‘CEO Conclave – Inclusive Innovation – Bridging the Digital Divide’; ‘Telco Cloud  – Frontier for Network Transformation’ and ‘Beyond 5G : Developing EU-IN Cooperation for the Next Generation of Standards’.

The day kick started with an inspiring welcome by Anshu Prakash, Chairman Digital Communications Commission & Secretary (T), Department of Telecommunications, which was followed by  speeches from Mr. MukeshAmbani, Chairman, Reliance Industries Limited and Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Enterprises; Sanjay Dhotre,  Minister of State for Communications, Education and Electronics & Information Technology; Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister for Communications, Electronics &Information Technology and Law & Justice. The inaugural address was delivered by Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi. This was followed by a thanksgiving talk by Lt Gen Dr SP Kochhar, DG, COAI.

After Prime Minister’s address, speeches were delivered by Mr. NunzioMirtillo, Sr. Vice President and Head of Market Area South East Asia, Oceania & India, Ericsson; Mr. Arun Kumar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, KPMG in India; Mr. Gopal Vittal, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel Limited; Sanjay Mashruwala, Managing Director, Reliance JioInfocomm; RavinderTakkar, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Vodafone Idea Limited and Vote of thanks by P. Ramakrishna, Chief Executive Officer, India Mobile Congress.

The inaugural session was followed by a sitting on Industry 4.0 – Smart Workspaces and Industries, the Automation Way. The session was moderated by SushantRabra from KPMG India and witnessed participation from Industry giants viz. Nokia Enterprise, Cisco System Inc., Dell EMC, Ericsson, Altran Technologies, Red Hat, Trumind software systems, Ciena India, KPMG India and Bharti Airtel Limited.

This was followed by a CTO Conclave Networks of tomorrow-Transforming network for 5G enablement. The session saw participation from organizations like Dell Technologies, Ribbon Communications, Ericsson, KPMG Asia Pacific, Red Hat Inc., Nokia India, Bharti Airtel Limited, Reliance JioInfocomm, Vodafone Idea Ltd., STL Facebook, Ityukt Digital Solutions.

Likewise, deliberating on the digital divide, the following session was around the topic – CEO Conclave – Inclusive Innovation – Bridging the Digital Divide. Along with various industry giants this session was attended by the Union Defence Secretary Dr. Ajay Kumar (IAS).

Delving deeper into network transformation, there yet another session themed on Telco Cloud – Frontier for Network Transformation, in association with Accenture. This session registered participants from industry stalwarts like Red Hat Inc.; Bharti Airtel Limited, Vi (Vodafone Idea limited), KPMG India, reliance JioInfocomm, Ericsson, Ribbon Communications, Mavenir, Nokia, Ciena India and STL.

Laying the ground work for the future of 5G, the last session of Day 1 hinged on the premise of ‘Beyond 5G: Developing EU-IN Cooperation for the Next Generation of Standards’. Representatives from various organizations viz DG Connect, NITI Aayog, ETSI, DDG(S-R-I), TSDSI, C-DOT, COAI, 5GIA and EU Delegation.

Another major highlight of the day was the launch of Thought Leader Report – CEO Outlook – Smart, Secure and Sustainable by Ravi Shankar Prasad,  Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology and Law & Justice.

Sanjay Kaul, President-Asia Pacific & Japan, Service Provider Business, Cisco, said, “Cisco is excited to be a part of India Mobile Congress, one of the world’s biggest, most prestigious shows on all things mobile and beyond. Though this year’s India Mobile Congress 2020 is virtual, we’re all still looking forward to the gathering of top minds to discuss topics such as building the digital ecosystem, architecting and building cloud-based service, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) offerings, – all while positioning for the inevitable shift to 5G which reflects aptly in this year’s theme all IP, Inclusive Innovation: Smart, Secure, Sustainable”

NunzioMirtillo, Head of Ericsson South east Asia , Oceania and India, said, “The Indian Government’s ‘Digital India‘ program, with its focus on empowerment, inclusion and digital transformation, relies on connectivity as its foundation –  and the mobile networks in India continue to deliver on that  promise. At Ericsson, we continue to stay close to our customers, communications service providers, to help them provide the best possible connectivity and network quality to Indian consumers.”

Anku Jain, Managing Director, MediaTek India said, “IMC 2020 is one of the biggest digital events, on a global scale, and MediaTek is happy to be a part of the first virtual edition. The inaugural session, featuring Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telecommunication sector ministers and industry players, shed light on several important aspects of ‘Digital India’ and reiterated the sector’s commitment towards enabling inclusive innovation. MediaTek has been at the forefront of the 5G revolution and is bringing 5G to everyone. As the 5G partner at IMC 2020, MediaTek wishes IMC a resounding success and looks forward to an insightful and engaging event.”

Neeraj Gupta, Sales Head- Wireless Solutions, India & SAARC, CommScope, said “The potential of 5G is not limited to enabling faster speeds than 4G, but it is also a combination of evolving technologies. The pandemic has led to people working from home; increasing the demand for sufficient bandwidth to support new technologies, driving a wholesale evolution of the network. This scenario has made supporting 5G networks and Wi-Fi 6 technology imperative. Investment in infrastructure including network densification, continued efforts in 4G/LTE capacity expansion and pragmatic investments to upgrade infrastructure to support 5G networks should be the focus for mobile network operators and industry at large. Meanwhile, LTE will continue to be around for years to come and LTE coverage and capacity are expected to increase even with the arrival of 5G.”

Dr.Anand Agarwal, Group CEO, STL, said, “IMC 2020 is a landmark event for STL as we are launching 3 extremely advanced access technologies with focus on programmability and virtualisation, across fibre, 5G and Wi-Fi. All of these will enable network providers to take their optical and wireless networks to all the parts of the country and to enable real-time applications for millions of users. This year culminates some longstanding efforts of STL, in terms of building a global ecosystem to develop world-class wired and wireless programmable access solutions and bringing them to market.”

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