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Qualcomm optimistic about India’s 5G prospects, expects high-velocity progress

Tech titan Qualcomm has said it is bullish about 5G prospects in India based on positive market indicators, including large base of telecom subscribers, sheer potential for device proliferation, and transformative power of the futuristic technology in areas such as healthcare and education.

Rajen Vagadia, vice-president and president of Qualcomm India and SAARC, said the company anticipates a “high-velocity progress” on this front. He added that progression on the 5G devices side is a “positive” and will spur the overall ecosystem.

“The progression on the devices side is far faster…we are likely to see types of devices and the price points on 5G devices in India irrespective of availability of the network, whether it is a trial network or full-fledged commercial network,” Vagadia told reporters at a virtual briefing in the late evening on Wednesday.

He added that the devices ecosystem is going to proliferate and thrive.

Vagadia said the launch of 5G devices “is a positive”, and will “motivate the overall ecosystem”.

“On the infrastructure side, how to measure the market size is by the base of the subscribers…we are talking about a billion subscribers, and if we are talking about a billion subscribers which other market has it,” he said.

Further, the opportunity will be multipled exponentially when one takes into account 5G being adopted by healthcare, industrial internet of things (IoT), education, and other sectors, he added.

“5G is going to be humongous opportunity not just for Qualcomm but everybody in the ecosystem…and the telco-ecosystem,” he said.

Vagadia said that while it may take a few years for a full-fledged 5G rollout across India, “heightened activity” has already begun.

“In the next 3-4 years, we will see this evolve, probably this may take a few more years before you see full 5G rollout pan-India but of course, the use cases will be so unique…it is evolving and evolving faster than anyone could imagine.

“This is a high-velocity progress, I would say which all of us should watch,” he said.

Recently, Jio Platforms and Qualcomm announced they have successfully tested 5G solutions, and clocked ultra high speeds of 1 gbps, in trials.

Qualcomm and Reliance Jio on Tuesday announced they have aligned efforts on 5G, in order to fast-track development and roll-out of indigenous network infrastructure and services in India.

Earlier this year, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) announced that Qualcomm Ventures will pick up 0.15 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 730 crore. It recently received the subscription amount for the deal and allotted the equity shares.

The latest progress on the 5G product portfolio neatly dovetails into Jio’s overall plans to develop homegrown 5G telecom solutions, as was outlined by RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani during the company’s annual general meeting in July this year.

RIL had earlier said Qualcomm Ventures’ investment would deepen the ties between Qualcomm and Jio Platforms to support the latter on its journey to roll out advanced 5G infrastructure and services for Indian customers. The Week

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