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5G Perspective

Mobile connectivity to be the foundation for Digital India

Ericsson has been in India since 1903 and we supported in all mobile generations. We have witnessed the massive adoption of 4G technology in India, with 4G clearly emerging as the dominant connectivity platform. The telecom equipment that Ericsson supplies to Indian telecom service providers are made in India. We manufacture telecom equipment, including 4G, 5G radios, and microwave products at our Pune facility. We are also exporting 5G radios to other markets from our facility in Pune. During the lockdown, our employees at the Pune facility were manufacturing telecom equipment in keeping with the government guidelines.

Today, almost 50 percent of all mobile subscriptions in India are 4G and it is clear that 4G has emerged as the workhorse and innovation platform for countless consumer smartphone services.

With the benefits of 4G services being availed by consumers even in remotest corners of India, we cannot underestimate the importance of broadband and connectivity toward the social and economic development of the country. The Indian government’s Digital India program depends on the mobile networks to deliver government services to its citizens.

During this period of the coronavirus, we at Ericsson together with the service providers, are working hard to ensure that connectivity works well in this time of need. Mobile networks in India and globally are proving yet again that they can deliver the performance and reliability to support the society in this hour of need.

India continues to be a strategically important market for us, both from the potential that we see in the market as well as the strong data growth that it is already experiencing. With the strong mobile broadband penetration and government’s focus on digitalization, India remains among the most compelling markets for us. India’s mobile data traffic growth continues to be on an upward trajectory, and it remains the region with the highest usage per smartphone per month. According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, the total mobile data traffic is projected to triple, reaching 21EB per month in 2025. Now the COVID situation has led to an increase in data consumption. For example, the average time spent on mobile broadband increased by one hour globally on an average basis. However, in India, the average time spent on mobile broadband went up by 2.2 hours per day. As opposed to the global trends where consumers are relying on fixed-line networks, Indian consumers are relying more on mobile broadband.

India today has the highest data consumption per smartphone user per month, compared to any other country in the world. Our advanced and competitive 5G portfolio can provide Indian service providers with the 5G solutions required to manage the growing data traffic volumes cost efficiently, while ensuring that the networks deliver to the size and complexity of the Indian market requirements.

5G will also enable India to unlock the potential of the Fourth Industrial Revolution–Industry 4.0, and will be the foundation on which India can further build on its digital transformation journey and realize its Digital India vision.

5G is a platform for innovation. Previous generations were centered around consumer and personal communications. 5G will serve consumers, enterprises and take the internet of things to a next level, where superior connectivity is a prerequisite.

As we are aware, industry digitalization is happening across all segments, and private networks and enterprise networking services are examples of areas already leveraging cellular and 5G technologies. Going forward, we will likely find the most transformative use cases in critical IoT, where the speed, latency and security of the 5G network will be key. Here we can see 5G’s potential to transform industries and society at large–with use cases such as smart manufacturing, smart cities, selfdriving cars, and advanced healthcare applications, just to mention a few.

With 5G, security is not an add-on, but built in from the start as part of the standardization process. That’swhy 5G is the most secure network generation ever. 5G networks will serve as critical infrastructures to facilitate the digitization, automation and connectivity to machines, robots, and transport solutions. With billions of connected devices and new types of applications, the networks need to be more resilient, secure, and better able to protect the individual’s right to privacy.

Everything that can be connected, will be connected. Adopting new technologies is key
By the end of 2025, we expect 5G to have 2.6 billion subscriptions covering up to 65 percent of the world’s population. Meanwhile, the number of cellular IoT connections is expected to reach five billion worldwide, up from 1.3 billion today. According to McKinsey, if policymakers and businesses get it right, the economic value to be generated by IoT globally could generate between USD 3.9 trillion to USD 11.1 trillion a year by 2025. Like many other huge shifts in economy and technology, this is a great opportunity to adopt new technologies and drive businesses forward.

Digital technologies such as 5G and IoT are predicted to reduce global emissions by up to 15 percent by 2030, which will be critical in combatting climate change.

At Ericsson, we have a strong and flexible 5G portfolio in place to enable our customers to switch on 5G today in all main frequency bands and utilize their valuable spectrum assets in the most efficient way. We signed our 100th commercial 5G agreement with unique communications service providers last week. We are live in 56 5G networks, spanning five continents. Based on our experience, we see 5G having a huge impact across different industries, with implementation of IoT solutions playing an increasing role across business applications and throughout society. The rapid deployment of 5G networks around the globe and an uptake in 5G subscriptions will drive an increase in the number of IoT connected devices worldwide.

The journey to capture the value of 5G beyond mobile broadband starts now
Industry digitalization opens new opportunities for service providers to build and extend their businesses beyond connectivity. Addressing these opportunities could enable service providers to unlock additional revenue streams of up to 35 percent, on top of the current scope of business by 2030. In India, the projected value of the 5G-enabled digitalization revenues will be approximately USD 17 billion by 2030.

I would like to conclude by saying that at Ericsson, even as we enable Indian customers to enjoy the benefits of 4G technology today, we stay committed to support India on its 5G journey, such that it can harvest the potential of 5G to the fullest.

To build the momentum for this growth and excel in 5G, it is key to invest in 4G. Here, private networks represent a very important first step and a fundamental to build a momentum in serving a wide array of 5G-enabled use cases.

To conclude, I would say, the time to act is now.

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