Better 5G Mobile Connectivity, Fewer Call Drops Likely During G20 Summit

A major reason for improved mobile connections in Delhi be the 5,718 5G base transceiver stations, or BTS, built in January alone.

Mobile phone users in Delhi are likely to experience stronger 5G connections and fewer call drops during and after the G20 Summit, the government has said. This is because the city’s 5G telecom infrastructure has seen rapid improvements since it was confirmed as the G20 host.

A major reason for improved mobile connections will be the 5,718 5G base transceiver stations, or BTS, built in January alone. There are now 10,662 BTS operational in the city.

In addition, free WIFI services are available in the entire Bharat Mandapam complex in Pragati Maidan, which has been chosen as the venue of the G20 Summit in Delhi.

Meanwhile, there has also been a loosening of norms for verification based on OTPs, or one time passwords, as part of digital KYC, or Know Your Customer, rules for issuing mobile phone connections to foreign nationals, dignitaries and officials visiting India during the summit.

Verification in such cases will be done based on passports, the Ministry of Communications said in a statement issued last week, stressing this will be a “one-time measure” because “it has been reported that foreign nationals, dignitaries and officials… are facing challenges in obtaining mobile connections… as they are unable to provide alternate number (for OTPs)”.

These relaxations are “only for the foreign nationals, dignitaries and officials visiting India for the purpose of (the) G20 Summit”, the government cautioned.

The number of mobile connections needed for those attending or facilitating the G20 Summit shows India’s ability to provide mobile data at some of the lowest rates in the world.

A survey in the United Kingdom has revealed significant variations in these figures; Israel has the cheapest at just USD 0.04 per 1GB of data and Saint Helena has the most expensive at USD 41.06. Meanwhile, in India, 1GB of mobile internet data costs just USD 0.17, or ₹ 13.98.

Cheap data means users consume more of it.

Telecom provider Reliance Jio, in its last Annual General Meeting, said each user consumes around 25GB of data per month and this helped India’s robust online payments platforms achieve a remarkable milestone last month – more than 10 billion online transactions.

According to the National Payments Corporation of India, which manages the real-time payments system, unified payments surged 67 per cent YoY to 10.58 billion in August.

New Delhi is days from hosting the 18th G20 Summit and this is the culmination of a year of planning and meetings involving ministers, senior diplomats and government officials.

The G20 summit – to take place over September 9 and September 10 – is expected to conclude with the adoption of a declaration, reflecting leaders’ commitment to discussed priorities.

As part of the summit, the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology conducted G20 Digital Economy Working Group (DEWG) meetings in Lucknow, Hyderabad, and Pune.

These culminated in the G20 Digital Economy Ministers’ meeting in Bengaluru.

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