India’s telecom revolution propelled the country’s economic growth in the 2000s. With 5G on the horizon, telecommunication networks are again set to play a pivotal role in the next phase of the country’s growth. The government’s focus on digitalization, as well as the overall digital revolution happening across India in all sectors, is transforming the country’s socioeconomic fabric, opening the doors to further innovation, opportunity, and growth.
The underlying foundation for supporting this next wave of growth in India is 5G. Promising to unleash the potential of artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, robotics, cloud, and much more, 5G will accelerate the pace of digitizing India and uncover new opportunities for citizens in various industries like education, manufacturing, and healthcare. 5G will also play a crucial role in realizing the vision of Digital India by empowering people and the economy.
Why is 5G vital to India’s growth
5G is unlike any previous technology. It will deliver performance gains to wirelessly support HD video streaming and massive amounts of data from smart sensors at the network edge. MNOs supporting many verticals–from transportation to finance to retail–stand to benefit from 5G. As India continues to become a global economic leader, 5G will be increasingly critical.
5G offers a combination of ultra-high-speed and extremely low latency while accelerating digitization that lowers operational costs while enhancing margins and profits. It enables several complex use cases like smart agriculture, logistics, remote surgery, and more. For example, one particular area where 5G will have significant relevance is in manufacturing. 5G enables automation of the factory operations leading to higher efficiencies and improved economics. With millions to billions of sensors and robots being able to communicate in real-time, factories across India will be able to enhance production since they won’t be completely dependent on human labour and can potentially operate 24×7.
Meeting the country’s data needs
Whether it’s watching the latest flick on Hotstar or playing a mobile game with friends, 5G will be particularly suitable in helping Indian MNOs meet the ever-growing demand for better quality via improved network performance. India is the global leader in monthly data consumption,with average consumption per subscriber reaching 9.06 Gb in 2019, according to the DoT report. The country needs high-quality affordable mobile broadband services for the overall socioeconomic growth of the country.
5G-powered Fixed Wireless Access can play a crucial role in helping India expand mobile broadband connectivity. It enables MNOs to bring down the cost of providing fiber- like connectivity allowing them to extend the coverage and offer low-cost, ultra-high-speed connectivity to more people. 5G is also a more spectrally efficient technology and will help MNOs ensure optimum utilization of the available resources in the network.
Fuelling the next wave of mobile connectivity
To reduce network complexity and fuel the migration from 4G to 5G, MNOs can use network slicing to navigate this new playing field. Network slicing creates multiple unique logical and virtualized networks over a common multi- domain infrastructure. This is one of the most important technologies of 5G, as it supports new services with vastly different requirements–from a connected vehicle to a video phone call, which require different throughput, latency, and availability. The move to 5G is complex and involves building a new network that can support new verticals, business models, and dynamic requirements from services and end users, both humans and machines. With network slicing, MNOs can reduce the time to market, optimize network resources, and increase revenues by offering a new and differentiated portfolio of services.
Intelligent automation will be a critical component of network slicing, as MNOs will then have to design and maintain thousands of network slices. MNOs cannot manage this volume of slices manually at the speeds required by their customers. Instead, end-to-end automation must be used to perform zero-touch slice lifecycle management dynamically at scale, and in real time, as traffic load, service requirements, and network resources change over time. Once this ability is in place, it will open many new revenue opportunities for MNOs across India.
There is little doubt that 5G will have a transformative impact on India. It will stimulate innovation and create new opportunities in a lot of verticals. At its core, 5G enables an even more connected and digital society. The time is now for MNOs to modernize their networks for the next phase of the country’s growth.