TRAI invites public comments on ways to make smartphones affordable in India

Telecom regulator TRAI on Thursday invited public comments to explore ways and means of making smartphones affordable in the country for digital inclusion.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), as part of its consultation paper on ‘Digital Inclusion in the Age of Emerging Technologies’, will assess whether measures taken by the government, such as focus on local manufacturing, are sufficient to bring down the prices of smartphones in India. India.

“What steps should be taken to make digital devices and connectivity affordable for citizens to enable them to maximize the benefits of an inclusive digital society? » asked TRAI in the consultation document.

In the document, TRAI cited an example of smartphone financing and explored the viability of second-hand smartphones in the country.

The regulator believes that the rapid pace of technological advancement and the launch of 5G-enabled services, including artificial intelligence and machine learning, can widen the digital divide if not made affordable and accessible to marginalized communities and regions poorly served.

“Unequal access to infrastructure, limited digital literacy and affordability issues could hinder the equitable distribution and use of emerging technologies, thereby exacerbating existing disparities in digital inclusion. To ensure complete digital inclusion, it is imperative to bridge the gaps that may arise due to emerging technologies,” TRAI said.

The regulator has set October 16 as the deadline for comments and October 31 for counter-comments on the document.

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