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5G Should Be A National Centre-State Priority: Aruna Sundararajan

India needs to make 5Ga national Centre-State priority as this is the infrastructure of the future, said former secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Aruna Sundararajan, at the ET Telecom 5G Congress 2019 in Delhi today.

Stressing on its importance, she said that the entire Indian industry should demand 5G since every industry and service will benefit in terms of productivity from the adoption of the technology. “Any industry that is not geared up for 5G will pay a heavy cost.”

Speaking about policy action she said, “We have a fair degree of policy clarity on 5G, the question is how quickly we can translate this into operable policy and mobilise resources.”

Much of the narrative on 5G is primarily on security however this issue can be addressed, India must immediately commence 5G trials and get on with the rollout, if we fall behind there could be a deceleration in GDP, she said.

In addition to central policy, states must be brought on-board as stakeholders in the discussion since a lot of the applications will be state-level. The Centre must take a more active role in the rights of way issue in terms of getting states to provide resources like land for fibre and towers.

With regard to spectrum she said the DoT is in discussions with the Departments of Defense and Space since the industry will require fairly large amounts of spectrum to operate.

Additionally, engaging with start-ups will bring significant value proposition and cost-advantage in to the industry through innovation. Some of the start-ups in the industry have high-level capabilities to work in this sector.

In terms of foreign negotiations she advised, “India must look for the best bargain it can get in terms of technology transfer, local manufacturing, etc while not compromising on security.”―Gadgets Now

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