India is gearing up for the next big thing in telecommunications. 5G will be a game-changing technology that has myriad implications for industries, consumers, network automation, artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and technology applications like augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR). It is expected to unlock new economic opportunities and societal benefits, and help India leap over the traditional barriers to development while furthering the Digital India vision.
What sets 5G in India and elsewhere apart is its ability to deliver higher multi-Gbps data 5G speed, massive bandwidth and network capacity, ultra-low latency, better availability, and more reliability compared to any other mobile network. IoT, AI, smart buildings, self-driving cars, automated factories, AR/VR experiences, ultra-HD live streaming, telesurgery, etc., will all be made possible thanks to a 5G network’s EMBB, URLCC and MMTC.
As per IHS Markit report, 5G is expected to revolutionize the industrial landscape, and facilitate unlocking global economic output of up to USD 13.2 trillion in 2035. Manufacturing is expected to have the largest share of 5G-enabled economic activity in 2035, up to USD 3.4 trillion.
We expect many more developments in a few weeks that will pave the way for 5G services in the country. While India’s telecom industry has grown significantly over the last few years, supported by the pandemic-induced demand as well as digitization, there still remain some challenges:
Low fiberization. Currently, 34 percent of the mobile towers are fiberized, and the government wants this number to increase to 70 percent by the end of the 2023-24 financial year. This is necessary to roll out 5G in an efficient manner, which will also boost 4G services. But there are several challenges to achieving this, starting from the right of way (RoW) rules and approvals to lengthy and complicated bureaucratic procedures and lack of skilled manpower.
Bidding intensity. The base price reduction is positive news but not enough to give breathing space for an effective rollout and expansion of 5G services in the country. Considering the operators’ financial stress and inability to raise tariffs to more profitable levels due to fierce competition, keeping a high base price will adversely impact participation.
Despite joining the 5G bandwagon a little late, India is making crucial investments toward its adoption. This life-changing technology will support innovations that can dramatically enhance day-to-day lives and business efficiency. Beyond much faster data transfers, far lower latency, and more network capacity, 5G will enable a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything, including machines, objects, and devices. It will trigger major societal transformation in India by facilitating the use of information technology across manufacturing, educational, healthcare, agricultural, financial, and social sectors, taking experiences and value creation to the next level.
5G will make an impact far beyond the consumer-based mobile broadband market. The impact of 5G will be much deeper as more industry use cases are implemented. It will accelerate digital transformation and significantly impact all industry verticals, their business processes, and goals. This will transform lives in the country and boost India’s economic growth.
Mavenir is committed to the Indian market. We have been working with all Indian operators and helping them in the rollout of 5G. Mavenir is investing resources in India and in technologies that will help them address emerging opportunities and working toward helping telecom operators in getting their networks 5G-ready by building the network of the future.
To realize the economic potential of the 5G economy, it is necessary to continue the investment and R&D that are already driving innovation and advancing this new generation of technology.