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India ready for data revolution with 350 million plus Net users: Minister

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NEW DELHI: India's Telecoms minister Manoj Sinha has said the sector had been growing at a phenomenal pace and was considered as the fastest growing telecom market in the world with the second largest subscriber base with more than 1060 million connectivity, 160 million broadband connections and 350 million plus internet users.

India is ready for another digital and data revolution, the minister said while inaugurating the 8th Telecom Export Promotion Council's Buyer-Seller meet earlier this week here.

(India's mobile phone revolution has been spurring many media players, global and domestic, to enter the OTT space despite challenges. It is also expected that, with the introduction of 4G technology, the market for streaming video will grow in India.)

Sinha said the rapid growth of the telecoms sector has fuelled the demand for telecom equipment, including mobile phones, which was worth about $ 20 billion in 2015-16 and is estimated to exceed $ 30 billion by 2020.

Sinha added that India has all the ingredients of a globally competitive telecom industry like a large domestic market, world class talent, focus on R&D and IPR creation, beside a robust framework for electronic manufacturing, including set-top boxes used in a variety of telecoms and broadcast services.

According to the Minister, Indian manufacturers have already made significant strides in exports of IT and telecom products to several countries and established that Indian IT and telecom products are of world-class quality and globally competitive on technology and price.

The massive thrust on 'Make in India' and 'Digital India' initiatives offers a large opportunity for creation of innovative products and services and India is poised for another digital and data revolution.

Sinha told the representatives from 28 participating countries from South Asia, South-East Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa that India holds the distinction of being the fastest growing telecom network, especially with advent of increased broadband penetration.

Meanwhile, joining issue with his colleague, Electronics and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said that, during the last fiscal ending March 2016, the sector recorded an export of $ 108 billion, which is around 45 per cent of services export from India. The sector gave direct employment to 3.7 million people and around 200,000 additional employment was created in just the past year.

Prasad said the prime minister Narendra Modi's government was determined to create a knowledge-based society to "improve effeciency and reach of the services."

He said unlike industrial revolution (that India missed), the country was all set to take lead in the ongoing digital revolution.

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