Year Ender 2022: From 5G to Digital Rupee, the biggest tech developments in India this year


The year 2022 has been crucial for India’s digital journey. This year, we saw India taking a big step towards its ‘Make in India’ dream by attracting major investments from manufacturers like Foxconn and Vedanta. We also saw Apple step up its India move by starting the manufacturing process for its iPhone 14 series in India soon after its official global launch. Also, we saw 5G networks in India rolling out with telecom operators Jio and Airtel aggressively expanding network coverage in major parts of the country.

In fintech, we saw India’s digital payment interface ie UPI expand to more countries around the world. We also saw that India is introducing its own digital currency in the form of Digital Rupee for RBI approved transactions.

As the year 2022 approaches, let’s take a look at all the major milestones in India’s tech journey this year…

5G comes to India

The launch and roll out of 5G mobile telephony network is probably one of the most important milestones that India will achieve in the year 2022. 5G was officially launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the opening day of India Mobile Congress 2022 in October this year. Shortly after, two major telecom operators in India, i.e. Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel started rolling out their 5G networks in different parts of the country. Today, nearly three months after the official launch, 5G connectivity is available in around 60 cities across the country. The list includes cities like Kochi, Nathdwara, Imphal, Ahmedabad and Vizag. While Jio has promised to provide pan-India 5G coverage by December 2023, Airtel has promised to achieve a similar feat by March 2024.

RBI does crypto with digital rupee

The Reserve Bank of India officially launched the e-Rupee or Digital Rupee as the digital equivalent of the Indian Rupee in October this year. E-Rupee is a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) managed by RBI and its trading value is similar to sovereign currency or in other words fiat currency. And since it is backed by the rupee, it is not as volatile as cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or dogecoin or ethereum. The digital rupee is of two types – eRupee Retail which can be used by all private sector, non-financial consumers and businesses and whose pilot started in December; and eRupee Wholesale which can only be used by financial institutions and whose pilot testing began in November.

UPI goes global

National Payments Corporation of India’s (NPCI) United Payments Interface (UPI) has been going from strength to strength ever since its launch. According to NPCI data, in October 2022, UPI recorded 7.3 billion transactions worth Rs 12.11 trillion in India. In addition to expanding its popularity in India, UPI went global, with the service available in many countries around the world, including Nepal, Bhutan, the United Arab Emirates, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, Switzerland and the UK.

Big leap forward in semiconductor and iPhone manufacturing

India has been focusing on increasing its semiconductor manufacturing capabilities ever since the Indian government introduced various subsidy schemes, including PLI, SPECS and EMC 2.0 in 2020. Since then, several tech companies have either set their roots in India or expanded their existing manufacturing capabilities. This push has also prompted local manufacturers like Vedanta Group to upgrade and expand their capabilities.

Earlier this year, India’s Vedanta Group partnered with Taiwan’s Foxconn to form a joint venture to manufacture semiconductors in India. Later, it was reported that the two companies had invested $19.5 billion to set up a manufacturing facility in India to make display and chip products within two years.

In addition to the joint venture, Foxconn has also invested an additional $500 million in India to expand its iPhone manufacturing capabilities, at a time when Apple is looking to reduce its dependence on China and expand its production capabilities to markets around the world. Planning to diversify. including India. Apart from this, Pegatron has also set up an iPhone manufacturing unit in India.

India’s tech law heads for upgrade

India is also in the process of upgrading its technology laws. Earlier this year, the Government of India introduced the Data Protection Bill in Parliament. Later, it was withdrawn due to the number of suggestions it received. The bill was re-introduced last month after taking into account all the suggestions. The reintroduced draft bill allows companies to transfer users’ personal data overseas to certain countries. Additionally, the new draft bill also proposes financial penalties on companies for incident related data breaches.

Also, last month a central inter-ministerial task force reached a consensus on adopting a common charging port across all electronic devices. During the meeting, there was a broad consensus on the adoption of USB Type-C as a universal charging port for electronic devices. The move is similar to what the European Union introduced earlier this year and when adopted, it is likely to force companies like Apple to adopt a universal charging solution.

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