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Being on the edge of the future feels great

5G will enable a fibre experience in every part of the country, bringing SMEs on common ground with large enterprises.

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VoicenData Bureau
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Being on the edge of the future feels great

5G will enable a fibre experience in every part of the country, bringing SMEs on common ground with large enterprises

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Prateek Pashine, President-Enterprise Business, Reliance Jio sat down with Ibrahim Ahmed, Group Consulting Editor, CyberMedia at the TLF to unfold what is happening in the industry with the advent of Edge. In a session on Transforming Enterprises with Edge and Private 5G, these two veterans discussed some pragmatic issues around 5G’s and Edge’s on-ground impact in India.

5G to the last mile

Ahmed started the chat by asking about how small, and government, enterprises are being affected by the force called 5G. “Customers who have been there and done that, having already adopted 5G in other parts of the world, already know the use cases well. They are, hence, the first ones to roll out commercial orders and do the proof of concept,” he stated.

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Kickstarting the discussion, he further pointed out that there are enterprises that see the promise of 5G and are engaging in active conversations. “These companies are concerned about the cost of labour and the cost of automation. Government organisations are on a different trajectory altogether. Their level of awareness, their effort on testbeds and their progress are simply amazing. They are on steroids,” he pointed out.

“SMEs have not got there but will soon board this wagon. With high-speed connectivity, the entire digitisation will come alive,” he hoped. Ahmed also addressed the elephant in the room as he argued about the hesitation that is still in the air in some enterprises.

SMEs have not got there but will soon board the 5G wagon and with high-speed connectivity, the entire digitisation will come alive.

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5G on the road

Pashine explained how there is significant traction in areas like mining, utilities, logistics etc. The experience centre in Mumbai gets some delegates every day and we are showcasing the possibilities of 5G in problems like perimeter security, government applications, massive M2M solutions etc. The Prime Minister’s office has been encouraging a lot of 5G applications too.

These experts also addressed audience questions like the role of 5G in expressways. Pashine said, “We connect the biggest organisation possible, Railways. One of the conditions of their expectations is that 90% of their tracks should be connected with 4G and must be ready for 5G. We will do that with highways as well. We are already in 400+ cities and making great progress in spreading 5G. We have also enabled an offshore rig. Now those employees can do immersive video calls with their families on the mainland. So, it is not restricted to land.”

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5G as the engine

As to what else is exciting, Pashine said, “5G is a great unifier. It addresses the digital divide, especially the one between large and small enterprises, as SMEs are not in high-end clusters but everywhere. 5G will enable a fibre experience in every part of the country. SMEs will come on common ground with large enterprises.”

Network-as-a-service and 5G-as-a-service will be good models to go, he weighed in while speaking of Private 5G. As to his company’s differentiators, he cited advantages like standalone networks where true benefits of 5G accrue, even if deployment costs are challenging for the company. “We have invested upfront to make the true befits of 5G emerge. It is like having a good engine. Else 5G is nothing but a good-looking luxury car.”

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Talking about the way forward, Pashine pointed out that it was still early days but indicated that there was good traction. “We see a lot of green shoots and early adopters. There is never a killer app though. There will be no silver bullet in terms of applications. It will vary from one industry to another and country to country as per cost economics,” he concluded.

A year from now you will see a significant landscape of active deployments and commercial roll-outs, he augured.

By Pratima Harigunani

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pratimah@cybermedia.co.in

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