Manoj Sinha, Minister of Communications inaugurated 5G India 2018
India has the potential to emerge as a leader in 5G standardization, was the consensus at the recently held international conference, 5G India 2018 organized by Bharat Exhibitions. An expert panel reiterated that India can and should take the lead in standardization for 5G technologies and applications through a convergence of IT and telecom by bringing all the stakeholders including regulatory bodies, standardization bodies, industry associations, and telecom operators on the same page.
Panelists highlighted the need for 5G on the back of a booming demand for data fueled by multiple emerging applications in IoT, big data, AI (artificial intelligence), and HD/4K/3D media. With users demanding connections anytime/anywhere and the worldwide monthly data traffic predicted to reach 50 petabytes in 2021 or over ten times the traffic today, it is only a 5G network which will be able to efficiently support the high throughput with low delay in communication and high reliability across a large number of heterogeneous connected devices.
The panelists also emphasized on how 5G would be an important part of India’s drive to create smart cities, smart agriculture, and transform highways and transportation. They emphasized on the need for private–public partnerships and the support of the government and industry.
Railways which are now demanding high-speed quality communications for control and signaling of trains, as well as high capacity communications for passengers will also be a driver for the development of 5G technology.
The session on digital transformation with 5G saw the release of a white paper on VNO (virtual network operator) in India. The panelists agreed that it was crucial to step up fiber penetration and make the E and V band spectrum available to ensure good deployment of 5G in the country. They emphasized on the need to have the spectrum assigned on a pan-India basis and at a reasonable price. Panelists spoke on how the digital transformation would take place with 4G and 5G co-existing just as 3G and 4G are co-existing at present with both infrastructure and devices in dual-mode. With low-latency operation being one of the major advantages of 5G, it would give a major push to IoT applications where devices need to communicate small amounts of data rapidly.
Vendors including BSNL, Intel, Reliance Jio, IIT Mumbai, and IIT Hyderabad showcased the use of 5G use with demos, which showed how 5G could be used to communicate in crowded or remote places at high speed due to reduced latency and increased data rates. The BSNL and Nokia demonstration of smart vehicles and transport enabling sensors embedded in roads showed how to communicate with each other and save time and costs. The demos also highlighted how 5G could transform critical services for government and utility companies.
Experts at 5G India 2018
“5G is a bus that we cannot afford to miss. It is an opportunity for India to be at the vanguard of a world undergoing a digital transformation, with India making the change from being an also-ran to an early-adopter. 5G technology can be the strong backbone of the government’s efforts in digital inclusion.
The industry is going through challenging times due to competition, but with 5G, the situation will be different. 5G is not restricted only to the telecom service providers, others will also make use of the 5G technologies to provide various services.
We are bound by the Supreme Court order in the 5G-allotment process. We will request the TRAI to give recommendations and on that basis, if needed, will approach the Supreme Court. DoT has floated a draft of the New Telecom Policy for public consultation and we are awaiting that process to be completed. Keeping in mind the fast pace of digitization, it will be a digital policy and not just a telecom policy. Our main focus will be on emerging technologies and expanding the broadband network. This will be a forward looking policy and based on the feedback from stakeholders, we believe that this will be a transformational policy for the country.”
Minister of Communications
“As we get closer to understanding the technical challenges associated with the roll-out of high speed, pervasive and reliable 5G networks, standards will become centre-stage. India was not at centre-stage when earlier networks such as 2G, 3G, and 4G were rolled out globally. 5G however presents a great opportunity to us. The Indian communications market is amongst the largest in the world, and it is vital that we join hands with administrations, industry, and academia across the world to shape future communication networks.
The government is committed to offer support to start-ups in this sector. Test beds can be used to develop products and promote local IPR and even if it requires big investments, Indian companies must work to manufacture 5G chipsets. Once the taskforce gives their recommendations, a 5G roadmap can be expected in 3 to 4 months. The roadmap would be designed to ensure ubiquitous adequate broadband connectivity to ensure socioeconomic benefits are available to all including those at the bottom of the pyramid.”
Secretary, Department of Telecommunications & Chairman,
“India is the only country without any constraints to expansion propelled by a huge smartphone using population and a vibrant communication and IT industry that has the potential to take 5G to an extraordinary scale. 5G has the potential to transform the way business is done with the coming together of IT and Tech.”
“5G will create a new ecosystem of technologies that will revolutionize the telecom industry.”
Sr. Strategy Director and Head, Industry Standards, Syniverse
“India with its large base of technical talent can lead the drive for standardization at a global level.”
Director General, TSDSI
“Significant improvement in data rates in 5G will address the field of Machine-type Communications (MTC), and allow a scalable and efficient connectivity for a massive number of devices.”
First Counselor – ICT, Delegation of the EU to India
“Digital infrastructure sharing, collaborative efforts, IoT exploration are some of the areas that will enhance digital transformation with 5G.”
Shubha N Bhambhani
Principal General Manager, BSNL
“India is a fascinating fast moving market and shares similarities with Europe. Emphasis must be placed on maintaining a balance between speed of rollout versus technology sovereignty which is the basis of all democracies.”
Chairman, ARCEP France