Ericsson is readying its 5G platform for commercial deployment in the country. It has ramped up its portfolio with end-to-end solutions and add-ons across core, radio access and so on.
According to Nitin Bansal, Managing Director, India Head of Network Solutions, Market Area South-East Asia, Oceania and India, Ericsson, these add-ons will make its platform more dynamic and flexible, enable service providers to evolve their networks and deploy 5G.
So far Ericsson has 10 commercially live networks (commercial contracts) globally using its equipment with deployments for telcos in Australia, Asia, the US, and Europe. In India, it is working with the government, telcos and academia (a Centre of Excellence and 5G Innovation Lab at IIT- Delhi) to develop use-cases.
“We are coming up with products and solutions that are specifically designed for India,” Bansal told BusinessLineadding that these could include offerings of smaller size and weight, products that have lower power consumption so that they can run more effectively at the time of power outages.
Other offerings could include solutions that cater to specific frequency bands (in India) like one radio unit catering to multiple frequencies in one form factor and again “solutions to dynamically share spectrum between 4G and 5G technologies to enable smooth network migration”.
“What we see in India, all technologies will coexist for some more years. What we are showcasing is the possibility to re-use the spectrum,” he said.
Ericsson has already announced MoUs with Bharti and BSNL; and according to Bansal, they are working “across all operators”.
Smartphone users will grow and naturally the demand for LTE subscribers will rise. From an Indian context, by 2024 the LTE subscriber-base is expected to rise to 1.2 billion from 345 million. Two per cent of the total subscription base in India is expected to be on 5G (by 2024).
“We are aligned with the government’s view to get 5G in India by 2020. We have the products and solutions for the Indian market,” Bansal said.
According to him, there will be urban network congestion. And with consumers having high expectations, operators would want to switch on to 5G. With early 5G deployments underway in dense urban areas, the next step is to improve 4G performance and build 5G coverage outside of cities.
“As a technology provider, we will be ready. But there are other bits and pieces, like spectrum availability, that have to be put in place,” he maintained.
According to Bansal, 5G will play a major role in healthcare, education, critical infrastructure, remote control of heavy equipment, surveillance, mining and so on. Ericsson is already talking to user industries (who can develop 5G-enabled applications) and have seen “some-level of interest”. “We are running pilots across multiple industries worldwide,” he added.―The Hindu Business Line