India offers to share telecom expertise with Asean

New Delhi, Feb 20 (IANS) India on Monday offered to share its expertise with Asean’s member countries in the development of their telecom and digital connectivity sectors.

“We look forward to being your preferred partner in your digital connectivity initiatives. I can assure you, we will do whatever is required, for Indian products and services to become the first choice for your telecom needs,” Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said.

Sinha was addressing a conference of Telecom Ministers, officials and industry leaders from member counties of the Association of South East Asian Nations, organised here by the Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC).

“The experience of taking technology to remote corners at affordable price can be leveraged by you to provide cost-effective communications solutions in your home countries. With our experience and expertise, it will be easy for you to achieve targets,” he added.

The minister also said that India is willing to provide long-term financing to Asean member nations for buying Indian products and services.

“Mobile technology, products and services from India come with best security, and high quality… You can rely on Indian telecom products,” he said, adding that Indian communications industry made progress over the last decade and with an overall tele-density of 88 and rural tele-density of 53.

Referring to one of the lowest mobile tariffs in the world, Sinha said that India has already overtaken the United States to become the world’s second-largest internet market, with more than 220 million broadband subscribers and more than 450 million users, only behind China.

TEPC has organised this inter-ministerial meeting to commemorate the 25th year of Asean-India relations.

“India has committed to provide financial as well as technological support for projects that could include-high-speed fibre optic networks, digital villages, rural broadband, national knowledge network and telecom training and skill development,” an official said in this connection.

India had committed a line of credit of $1 billion to promote projects that support physical and digital connectivity between India and ASEAN.

TEPC is organising its two-day global business exposition — India Telecom 2017 — here from Tuesday. Sinha and Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be the chief guests at this event.

The event will witness more than 100 foreign high-profile information and communication technology (ICT) industry delegates from over 30 countries. Its main objective is to provide opportunities to Indian telecom exporters, including SMEs and start-ups, to meet qualified overseas buyers.