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Industry hails Union Budget initiatives on 5G, AI

Leading industry players on Wednesday welcomed several fresh initiatives in the Union Budget 2023-24, especially setting up 100 5G labs and opening the centers of excellence (CoEs) for artificial intelligence (AI).

With the 5G roll-out now gaining momentum in India, the Centre announced plans to set up 100 labs in the top engineering institutions to develop 5G apps and services.

“With the ongoing 5G rollouts in India, the government’s decision to establish 100 5G application Labs is a timely move to spur innovation in developing the 5G ecosystem and India’s relevant use cases,” said Manoranjan Mohapatra, CEO, of Comviva.

There is a great opportunity to combine 5G and AI to improve network speed, responsiveness, and efficiencies, he added.

Arvind Bali, the CEO, of the Telecom Sector Skill Council, said that the annual demand for telecommunications and 5G has increased by 33.7 percent (in September 2022).

“There was a demand for 1.3 million workers in FY22-23 which is growing each year and new use-cases including cloud computing, robots, and the Internet of Things (IoT) are also seeing a sharp rise in hiring. We believe the initiatives will be beneficial to close the country’s growing demand-supply gap of technical talent workforce,” Bali added.

In the ChatGPT era, the Finance Minister announced the government will open three centers of excellence for artificial intelligence (AI) at top educational institutions.

Matthew Foxton, India Regional President and Executive Vice-President, of Branding & Communications, IDEMIA, said that the adoption of a unified KYC process, utilizing Digilocker and Aadhaar as the primary means of identity verification, “is a positive step forward and will increase financial accessibility for marginalized communities”.

According to Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director, India & Vice President APAC, at Barco, the country has the potential to be a world-class infrastructure center, moving toward net zero carbon emissions by 2070 and “setting up the AI-based solutions in health, education, and sustainable cities will give an additional push towards the extensive use of technology”.

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