No longer behind the curve on technological adoption, the Indian enterprises are embarking on an aggressive digitization drive to future-proof networking infrastructure with sophisticated software-centric solutions as they seek to enhance bandwidth in an era where connectivity, agility, and mobility are reshaping modern businesses. The year 2018 is likely to see Indian enterprises move toward full-scale IoT deployment, with edge computing taking center stage, Forrester pegging technology spending growth at 12 percent over the year.
The dawn of the 5G era has made network transformation critical for Indian telecom carriers to address the challenge of massive data capacity and ultra-low latency. Operators are embracing futuristic technologies such as massive MIMO, carrier aggregation, and small cells to optimize spectrum efficiency and deliver seamless and swift connectivity, while VoLTE deployment is set to gather momentum with India switching from a voice-centric to a data-centric model. With backhaul infrastructure inept to handle the growing data explosion, fiberization of towers as a last mile connectivity solution is imminent.
The broadcasting industry too is set for another big year technologically as the proliferation of 4K UHD and HDR resolutions, and the advent of ATSC 3.0 propel the adoption of IP-based broadcast infrastructure using the cloud, delivering scalability and cost-effectiveness. Moreover, deployment of fiber optics technology for next-gen television routing is expected to increase for meeting the challenge of high bandwidth and low latency video and audio steaming for accommodation of HD signals and multicast SD channels.
The Union Budget has a sharpened focus on targeting projects that drive technology too. The allocation for the Digital India program has been doubled to Rs. 3073 crore in 2018–19. Apart from the proposal to set up five lakh wi-fi hotspots, Rs. 10,000 crore for creation and augmentation of telecom infrastructure and support to the establishment of the indigenous 5G-test bed at IIT, Chennai is being provided. Initiatives such as Digital India, Startup India, and Make in India would help the country establish itself as a knowledge and digital society. NITI Aayog will initiate a national program to direct efforts in the area of artificial intelligence, including research and development of its applications.