A high-level forum set up by the government is focusing on developing a research ecosystem, a regulatory framework and an inclusive business environment for 5G, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said here on Tuesday.
“India may have missed the 3G and 4G buses, but the country cannot afford to miss the 5G bus. It is of strategic importance to us,” the Minister said after inaugurating Ericsson’s “Centre of Excellence (CoE) and Innovation Lab” for 5G at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi.
The Ericsson 5G test bed is an open platform and aims to help the industry and the academia to leverage the 5G technology to develop new 5G-based apps and business models.
“The 5G ‘Centre of Excellence’ supports the government’s plans to foster a robust and vibrant 5G ecosystem in the country. We want India to be an active participant in the design, development and manufacturing of 5G-based technologies, products and apps,” Sinha noted.
The Minister said that meeting the government’s aim of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” (development of all with involvement of all) requires strong, reliable and affordable digital infrastructure that can be the backbone of digital inclusion.
“Digital inclusion, we believe, will significantly accelerate our inclusive growth and development. It is in this context that 5G is of strategic importance to us,” he stated.
For charting a roadmap for the country’s transition to 5G, the government has set up a 5G high-level forum consisting of three ministries, industry stakeholders and experts from different organisation, Sinha pointed out.
While discussions have been going on to identify potential use cases for 5G, initial responses indicate that e-health, e-education, disaster management, e-agriculture and Smart Cities are strong candidates to exploit the key features of low latency and high throughput of 5G technology, he said.
Complimenting Ericson for the establishment of the innovation lab at IIT Delhi, Sinha said that “test beds will provide the enabling environment for testing of technology, and its refinement as a precursor to final adoption.
“We need the entire eco-system to work together to make 5G a reality in India over the next 2-3 years.”
Addressing the gathering, Borje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson, said the company was leading 5G standardisation globally.
“We would like to unleash the creativity and innovation of the Indian industry, academia and entrepreneurs to fully leverage and make 5G a reality in India,” he stressed.
Also present on the occasion were R.S. Sharma, Chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi.
“India is a big player in data consumption. It consumes more data than any country in the world,” Sharma said.
Mobile data consumption in India has gone up to about 1.3 billion GB per month which is more than the mobile data consumed in the US and China together, Sinha added.
As per an Ericsson report, 5G-enabled digitisation revenue potential in India will hit $27.3 billion by 2026.
The Indian operators can generate additional revenue of $13 billion if they take up roles beyond being connectivity and infrastructure providers to become service enablers and service creators, the company said.
The largest opportunity will be seen, according to Ericsson, in sectors like manufacturing, energy and utilities followed by public safety and health sectors.
Some of the 5G use cases that could be implemented using the unique features of 5G technology include industrial control and automation, autonomous driving, safety and traffic efficiency services, hospital applications and medical data management among others. – Business Standard