The fight against unsolicited calls on cellular phones by telemarketing companies has just got a heavyweight boost - from none other than the President, APJ Abdul Kalam.
Speaking at India Telecom 2006, an international exhibition and conference, on Thursday, the president made a call of his own: assess the problem, have a debate, and evolve an effective mechanism to control if not stop such invasion of privacy.
Kalam said, "As you all know, telecom technologies are capable of locating the position of the cell phone, its utilisation pattern, and the particulars of the person contacted, leaving the individual open to avoidable exposure and exploitation by motivated agencies."
He added, "Ethics also need to be evolved for utilisation of telecom tools and technologies, so that individual privacy is not intruded upon. Although some restrictions are in place against unsolicited telephone calls, there is a need for more effective control mechanism."
Kalam also batted for making India a manufacturing hub: "We should aim that 70 per cent of the telecom hardware and software should be manufactured in India by 2010."
The huge potential demand for cell phones, access devices, routers, switches and modems should be sufficient incentive for stressing on manufacturing, he added.
Earlier, delivering the keynote address, Communications and Information Technology Minister Dayanidhi Maran announced that Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL), the state-owned telecom company, will provide a broadband connection with a minimum download speed of two megabytes per second (Mbps).
The current minimum speed for broadband as defined by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India in its broadband report and offered by BSNL is 256 kilo bytes per second (kbps).
"In fact we are christening 2007 the 'Year of Broadband' in India," said Maran.
The current broadband penetration in India is at about three million and the government expects to have additional five million broadband connections in 2007, he disclosed.
The Communication Minister said India expects an investment of $20 billion in telecom, which resulting in of more jobs.
"We have investment commitments of over $17 billion in the IT and telecom sectors. In the telecom manufacturing itself there has been commitment of more than $1.5 billion," he said.