6G dominates PM Modi-Cisco COO talks

Cisco Chief Operating Officer (COO) Maria Martinez said that PM Modi asked them to engage on 6G as after 5G, the prime minister is already laying out the blueprint for it…reports Nishant Arora

As 5G roll-out picks up pace in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is already laying out the blueprint for 6G and has asked global networking giant Cisco to begin research and development (R&D) around the next-gen telecommunication technology to further empower millions, according to the company’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) Maria Martinez.

In an interaction with IANS, Martinez revealed the conversation she, along with other top Cisco leadership, had with PM Modi last week around the emerging technologies and how they can help the country innovate and build for the world.

“It was very exciting to meet the prime minister and other top leaders to witness the great commitment they have to make India a global manufacturing and export hub for various technologies. 5G is a great opportunity for us to do more, not only for the private sector but also for enterprises of all sizes at massive scale,” Martinez said.

She said that PM Modi asked them to engage on 6G as after 5G, the prime minister is already laying out the blueprint for it.

“We talked about building some kind of joint R&D around 6G as well. We are very excited after seeing the 5G roll-out globally, including in India. We’re very excited about 6G too,” Martinez told IANS.

PM Modi has already emphasised that the 6G initiative will create new opportunities for innovators, industries and startups. In March, he released a vision document that details India’s plans to develop and launch 6G telecom services in a few years.

Cisco is also working with telecom operators in India for the monetisation of private 5G use cases as a service model.

The company is witnessing the 5G rollout at a very rapid pace with both service providers Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel connecting cities and towns, as the country aims to connect every nook and corner of the country with 5G access this year.

Cisco’s Chair and CEO Chuck Robbins also discussed with PM Modi how the company has doubled down on manufacturing to boost exports from the country.

The global networking giant has announced it will start manufacturing in India, with an aim to drive more than $1 billion in combined domestic production and exports in the coming years via offering a robust and secure device ecosystem.

Dave West, President, Cisco Asia Pacific, Japan, and Greater China (APJC), told IANS that India is moving very rapidly on 5G rollout and the energy around the whole piece of digitisation in the country is super impressive.

“We’re incredibly excited about the Indian market and are well aligned to see India on the digitisation and the growth journey. The manufacturing announcement is a testament to our belief in this growth market. We are going to be manufacturing routers and switches to begin with, and then move from there,” West elaborated.

Enterprises of all sizes are digitising very rapidly in the country and as they digitise, technology comes at the forefront of their strategy.

“It is fundamental to their success, not only internally on how they manage their own businesses and provide capabilities to their employees but also how they do business with others. Also, cybersecurity and sustainability are two key topics of discussions as enterprises want us to make resilient, high quality, agile infrastructure,” West told IANS.

India is a key market for Cisco and its second largest R&D centre outside the US.

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