Govt has no intentions of discontinuing 2G mobile services: Union MoS Sanjay Dhotre

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New Delhi: The government has no intention of discontinuing 2G mobile services as the choice of access technology has been provided to telecom service providers (TSPs), minister of State for Communications Sanjay Dhotre said.

“The choice of technology for provision of telecom services are left to the Service Provider as per their respective business considerations,” Dhotre said in response to a question posed in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

“The Department of Telecommunications, Government of India makes available sufficient spectrum through auction for mobile services across different bands.”

He added the department has not received any such suggestion from either TSP.

The comments come after Mukesh Ambani-led telco Reliance Jio which offers only 4G services, had called for urgent policy measures to move away from 2G-based telecom service, which started 25 years ago, and make it a “part of history”.

“India still has 300 million mobile subscribers trapped in the 2G era, their feature phones keep them excluded even from the basic users of the internet at a time when both India and the rest of the world are standing at the doorsteps of 5G telephony,” Ambani said in a video message at an industry event marking 25 years of the sector.

When asked about the government’s effort to build indegenous 5G technology solution, Dhotre said that the Department of Telecommunications has in March, 2018 approved a multi-institute collaborative project to set up indigenous 5G Test Bed at a total cost of Rs. 224 crores in collaboration with prominent IIT institutes.

He also highlighted Jio’s announcement of success in building an end-to-end 5G stack indigenously.

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