The seventh edition of the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2023 commenced with great enthusiasm, as Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the event at Bharat Mandapam. This year, the focus of the event is on Global Digital Innovation, with exhibitors presenting cutting-edge technologies such as satellite communication, 6G demo, and other innovative use cases. Notable dignitaries like Akash Ambani, Chairman of Reliance Jio, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, and Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman of Aditya Birla Group, graced the inaugural session of IMC 2023. Unlike previous years, where the 5G rollout took center stage, this edition of IMC presented multiple demo sessions and significant announcements that have captured the attention of the industry.
One of the major announcements at the event involved the establishment of 100 5G labs across India. These labs aim to promote research and development in various fields, including health, agriculture, and manufacturing. The labs will be set up in renowned academic institutions across multiple states, including Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur, Telangana, and Karnataka. Some of the institutes that have already been announced as hosts for these labs include IIT Guwahati, IIT Silchar, Delhi Technological University, Jamia Hamdard University, and Birla Institute of Technology Mesra, among others. This initiative is set to foster collaboration and innovation in the field of 5G technology, providing opportunities for students, professors, startups, and MSMEs to contribute to its development and implementation.
Reliance Jio, a prominent telecommunications company, showcased its satellite-based Gigabit broadband service at IMC 2023. The company demonstrated how it can provide high-speed internet access to previously inaccessible locations. Through this technology, Jio has made internet connectivity available in remote areas such as Gir Gujarat, Korba Chattisgarh, Nabrangpur Odisha, and Jorhat Assam. However, it is important to note that the availability of this service to the wider public has not been announced yet.
Jio Glass, a mixed-reality handset, was another highlight of IMC 2023. Introduced at the company’s 43rd annual general meeting, Jio Glass was available for live demo at the event. The device was paired with a OnePlus Nord smartphone, showcasing its capabilities. Although our experience with the Jio Glass was brief, it appeared to be promising in terms of its functionality and user experience.
Nokia, a renowned telecommunications company, presented a captivating demo of its 6G network at IMC 2023. The 6G network showcased by Nokia possesses radar-like capabilities, allowing it to sense objects, people, and movements without compromising privacy. This situational awareness provides individuals with a digital sixth sense, enabling them to gather information about their surroundings, perceive what is beyond their line of sight, and interact with objects from a distance. Nokia’s live demonstration of this 6G sensing capability, utilizing prototype radio equipment, was truly impressive. Additionally, Nokia also emphasized its contribution to smart and safe railway networks, focusing on the Delhi to Meerut RRTS project, in collaboration with Alstom. The deployment of a private wireless network for RRTS, known as the world’s first LTE/4.9G network supporting the European Train Control System, is aimed at ensuring the safety and efficiency of train travel.
Ericsson and Airtel joined hands with Qualcomm to demonstrate their Reduced Capability (RedCap) solution at IMC 2023. This software solution by Ericsson aims to simplify device complexity, extend battery life, and deliver faster data rates. The partnership between Ericsson, Airtel, and Qualcomm showcased the capabilities of RedCap devices. Ericsson’s pre-commercial RedCap software was successfully tested on the Airtel 5G network, demonstrating the enhanced performance and potential of RedCap devices. Airtel also highlighted its AI-powered Self Optimising Network, known as A-SON, which systematically detects and resolves network anomalies through artificial intelligence. A-SON ensures a seamless network experience for Airtel users by proactively addressing potential issues. Additionally, Airtel showcased its Xtream AirFiber service, which provides broadband connectivity to areas without fiber or traditional broadband infrastructure. Currently available in select regions, this service aims to bridge the digital divide and connect more people to the internet.
The seventh edition of the India Mobile Congress has undoubtedly been a catalyst for digital innovation, showcasing groundbreaking technologies and solutions. From the establishment of 5G labs to the development of satellite-based broadband services, the event has shed light on the potential of cutting-edge technologies. Companies like Reliance Jio, Nokia, Ericsson, and Airtel have demonstrated their commitment to pushing boundaries and driving digital transformation in India. With such advancements and collaborations, India is well-positioned to lead the way in the global digital landscape. The India Mobile Congress continues to be a platform that fosters innovation, facilitates knowledge sharing, and sparks meaningful conversations about the future of mobile technology.