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It’s time to tell the world that India is open for business in 5G

Excerpts from a panel discussion at ETTelecom Digital Telco Summit ‘22 held on November 18, at New Delhi.

V Raghunandan, Secretary, TRAI
“Enabling infrastructure sharing will be a key focus area for the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) as it will help 5G or any technology proliferate in the country and lower costs for rolling out networks, said a top official of the regulator.

Infrastructure sharing is going to be our main focus. So that whether it is 5G deployment or any deployment for that matter, will actually proliferate because one of the things is that infrastructure created is shared by many people and especially in India, the costs of networks will be brought down.

We are not entering into the cost side. We do have the regulatory power to intervene in the pricing aspect of it, but we generally go for the forbearance aspect of it. We are trying to holistically address, whether it is a state-level small cell, whether it is inside the building, whether it is at the national level or whether at the tower level. We are trying to address end-to-end so. That is going to be our focus.”

P Balaji, Chief Regulatory and Corporate Affairs Officer, Vodafone Idea.
“Vi has demonstrated use cases in Industry 4.0 and public works safety, with other private players which indicates “real action” is happening on the ground in enterprise use cases. But I think the immediate step to my mind is working on the industry verticals, the enterprise solutions because there’s an opportunity to actually drive efficiencies and so on which can then potentially lead to a revenue stream for the industry which can then be used to offset to a certain extent, the huge amount of investment that needs to go into 5G networks in the coming years.”

Ravi Gandhi, Chief Regulatory Officer, Reliance Jio Limited
“From a government perspective, if you see enabling faster, easier rollout at the affordable price, at lesser RoW (right of way) kind of charges would facilitate the rollout of the network in the areas where business cases not as strong as we think today. All states need to be aligned with the Centre’s RoW rules without which the efforts of telcos will go into vain.”

Julian Gorman, Head of APAC, GSMA. “India is on its way to becoming a global telecom superpower and hence, has to actively participate in the global setting up of standards and discussions that are forming the ecosystem.

A lot of the world is looking to India to be able to export its innovation, because they are markets that are more similar to India than they are to maybe the pioneer markets.

As India carries on this journey of 5G, the progress is happening, whether it’s policy or whether it’s infrastructure, deployment, or technology because not only will others learn and adopt that, it’s actually to tell the world that India is open for business in 5G, and it’s time to come here, it’s time to invest, it’s time to be part of that ecosystem.”

SP Kochhar, Director-General, COAI. “More investments will be required to increase fiberization of towers from 30% currently to 60-65%, power supply for the vast networks, and drive awareness of 5G.

While we say that the consumer market will drive applications, it will have to be led by the industry. It has to be invested in by the industry and therefore a lot of R&D effort, a lot of operational effort into finding out those killer apps which today are not available across the world. You go to any country and ask them what is the killer app for 5G, nobody knows.”

CT Bureau

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