At a time when the 5G spectrum auctions appear to have been delayed till next year, industry body COAI has said that the government should facilitate creation of indigenous IPR around the high-speed mobile technology by developing local use cases through engagement with start-ups and businesses.
Rajan Mathews, DG of COAI, said that while the government looks at an appropriate time to sell the 5G spectrum, it should use the intervening period to carry out the groundwork related to the technology, especially with regards to developing India-specific solutions around the network and usage.
“We feel that enterprises gain substantial benefits when 5G is rolled out. Areas such as cloud computing, edge computing, industry 4.0, robotics, remote surgery and artificial intelligence require higher computational power and extremely low latency,” Mathews said, adding that, “These cannot be met at the 4G level. They require 5G.”
The government is looking to carry out spectrum auctions for 4G later this year, though it is expected to delay the 5G sale to next year in view of the difficult financial condition of companies such as Airtel and Vodafone Idea. Only Reliance Jio, owned by Mukesh Ambani, has been making profits as the company’s holding company also raises fresh funding from top global companies which includes Facebook.
Mathews said that the government should revise the 5G reserve prices downwards before the airwaves are put up for sale. Also, the COAI says that the quantum of 5G spectrum being considered for sale is inadequate, and needs to be increased.
5G, which promises network speeds of as high as 1000 MBPS, would require heavy investments by companies into telecom infrastructure, but it will be a strong in boosting modernisation in manufacturing, gaming, immersive technologies such as AR and VR, and healthcare.
Telecom network companies such as Huawei, Ericsson, and Nokia have already been looking at use cases in this area as the government looks at having 5G technology trials in the country.
Huawei has been working with certain foreign governments in this area, and has launched a massive campaign in Thailand, especially in the healthcare area.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted Thailand’s key telecom companies to accelerate work towards deployment of 5G technologies. The country’s telcos are racing to deploy 5G networks at hospitals to support doctors and medical personnel as they counter the virus spread.
“Application of 5G to public health demonstrates how digital infrastructure can have a significant impact on people’s health during a major emergency,” said Buddhipongse Punnakanta, Thailand digital economy and society minister.
The digital economy and society ministry, together with Huawei Technologies Thailand, are providing AI-assisted solutions with 5G technology to hospitals in the country with the aim of enabling output diagnosis results more efficiently through a high-speed network.
—Times of India