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World’s largest rural broadband BharatNet to play key role in connecting India

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Speaking on the country’s Independence Day, PM Modi said India will have to become developed within the coming 25 years. BharatNet is set to play a key role in connecting the country.

Bharatnet, the world’s biggest rural broadband project, aims to connect all 2.5 lakh gramme panchayats (gps) across India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked from the parapets of the Red Fort, on August 15, 2022, that the current decade will be characterised by technology, dubbing it a ‘Techade.’

PM Modi stated, “This decade is a techade for humanity – a decade of technology.”

He went on to say that India’s startups, the Atal Innovation Mission, and the government’s incubation centres are providing chances for the next generation.

However, the Prime Minister did not just discuss the importance of technology in the future decade. On the 75th anniversary of the country’s independence, Prime Minister Modi threw down the gauntlet, saying that India must become a developed country over the next 25 years.

From the top, the Prime Minister emphasised two specific aspects of India’s startup ecosystem that will bring about change: education and health.

“Digital will bring revolutions in education, health, and a shift in all lives,” he said.

In addition, the Prime Minister stated that the Digital India movement was not just for difference. The initiatives made by the government in the areas of semiconductors, 5G, and optical fibres have all been done to guarantee that India does not fall behind in the oncoming ‘techade’ and becomes Atmanirbhar. While Independence Day could have been an appropriate time for a 5G deployment in the country, the auction was much too close to India’s platinum jubilee to be viable.

The BharatNet project, one of the government’s most ambitious connectivity initiatives, is budgeted at INR 61,109 Cr and aims to link India’s 6 lakh Gram Panchayats to high-speed fiber-optic internet.

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The project is nearly a third of the way done, and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman set a 2025 completion date in her Union Budget address this year.

The quantity of infrastructure that will be constructed for the BharatNet project, on the other hand, will benefit the telecoms. 5G is a network that will provide much better capacity and bandwidth.

However, the spectrum purchased by telecoms in the recently finished 5G spectrum auction can only accomplish so much.

Because microwave has a limited carrying capacity, fibre is the way to proceed.

However, India’s fiberisation record is now poor.

According to an STL analysis, India falls far short of the optimal mix of 1.3 km of fibre per capita, and the present deployment rate is also insufficient to meet the objective any time soon.

Sure, there are areas where fibersiation is not economically feasible and microwave is the way to go to maintain backend networks, but for a real 5G experience, fiberisation is essential, and BharatNet is the mould for that need. BharatNet and 5G will carry India’s future networks, pushing the country closer to the Digital India vision during the next ‘Techade.’

According to Inc42’s ‘The State of Indian Startup Ecosystem Report, 2022,’ India has the world’s third-largest startup ecosystem in terms of the number of firms founded and unicorns generated.

As of H1 2022, India’s startup ecosystem included 58K firms across 55 industries, raised $131 billion between 2014 and H1 2022, and was worth more than $450 billion.

India is developing unicorns at a quicker rate than China. Despite having one of the world’s biggest ecosystems, practically all of India’s 105 unicorns are headquartered in the country’s six Tier 1 cities. However, over half of all Indian companies are headquartered in Tier 2 and 3 towns; as the Prime Minister said today, Indian businesses are fuelled by talent from these tiny locations.

“We are interested in Digital India and startups. This is the talent from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, as well as communities around the country “PM Modi stated.

In India’s startup environment, the flywheel for the future has been put in motion. India is expected to have 250 unicorns and over 100K total businesses by 2025.

The startup ecosystem is also expected to employ more than 3.5 million people and invest up to $200 billion in Indian firms between 2021 and 2025. .

The startup ecosystem in India is about to undergo another fundamental upheaval.

With 5G and BharatNet, India will have perhaps the world’s biggest digital population after China, which will improve India’s digital economy and tech startup environment.

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