Voice&Data, Cybermedia, held an event on “India 5G Evolution: Fast Tracking 5G” on 17th of September 2019, at Hotel Shangri-la Eros in New Delhi. Business leaders from the telecom and government representatives were present at the event. Pradeep Gupta, CMD, Cybermedia welcomed the guests.
Sukanta Dey, Strategic Advisor & Group COO, Informo Global Pte Ltd, gave the opening address. Keynote speakers were Aruna Sundararajan, Former Secretary, DoT, Government of India; Rajan Mathews, Director General, COAI and Jitendra Singh, Senior Director, Government Affairs, India & South Asia, Qualcomm India. The panels were titled “The Operator Excitement,” 5G Ecosystem Enablers and “Tech Confluence of Telecom & Cloud and Case Studies.”
Building 5G ecosystem worldwide
Sukanta Dey, Strategic Advisor and Group COO, Informo Global Pte Ltd, delivered the introductory keynote titled: Building the 5G ecosystem worldwide.
The number of mobile users and their demand for data is rising exponentially. Hence, 5G is the answer, as it must handle far more traffic at much higher speeds than the base stations that make up today’s cellular networks. With 5G, users should be able to download a HD film in under a second (a task that could take 10 minutes on 4G LTE).
5G networks will drive the development of new technologies in the fourth industrial revolution or Industry 4.0, such as autonomous vehicles, virtual reality and IoT, robotics, etc.
To achieve all this, wireless engineers are designing a suite of brand-new technologies. These technologies will deliver data less than a millisecond of delay (compared to about 70ms on todays 4G networks) and bring peak download speeds of 20 gigabits per second (compared to 1 Gb/s on 4G) to users.
At the moment, it’s not yet clear which technologies will do the most for 5G in the long run. Five early favourites have emerged. These front-runners include millimeter waves, small cells, massive MIMO, full duplex, and beam forming.
The outcomes include a real and seamless wireless world with no more limitations with access and zones. There will be wearable devices. IPv6 will be in use, where, a visiting care of mobile IP address is assigned according to location and connected network. There will be one unified global standard and smart radios will be in use. The user can simultaneously be connected with several wireless access technologies. There will be multiple concurrent data transfer path.
Key features of 5G include high resolution for heavy cell phone users, bi-directional large bandwidth, less traffic, 25Mbps connectivity speed, enhanced and available connectivity for nearly the whole world, and uploading and downloading speeds of 5G touching the peak (up to 1Gbps). 5G technology should be available in the market at affordable rates with scalable and versatile architecture.
Security and privacy will have a whole new dimension. There will be a creation of virtual assets: legislation, ownership, taxation, etc. There will be rural India focus as netizens start with 5G. Multilingual content will be available for consumption, anytime anywhere. There will also be an impact on e-governance, health, education, consumption of goods and services, etc. .With 5G, users should be able to download a high-definition film in under a second!
5G evolution and national success
Presenting a talk on 5G : Evolution and National Success, Jitendra Singh, Senior Director, Government Affairs Qualcomm (India & South Asia) and India Head, GSA, said the mission is to connect India. He elaborated:
* Universal broadband coverage at 50 Mbps to every citizen.
* 1 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats of India by 2020.
* 10 Gbps connectivity to all Gram Panchayats of India by 2022.
* Enable fixed line broadband access to 50% of households.
* ‘Unique Mobile Subscriber Density’ of 55 by 2020.
* ‘Unique Mobile Subscriber Density’ of 65 by 2022.
* Public Wi-Fi Hotspots to reach 5 million by 2020.
* Public Wi-Fi Hotspots to reach 10 million by 2022.
There is also a need to make India a 5G hub, in terms of having design houses and local manufacturing. He provided some interesting figures.
* In China, as of Aug 18, 788 Mn accessing internet via mobile, accounts for 98% of Chinese netizen population.
* China users spend, on average, 200 Bn hours on apps, 4.5 times longer than India.
* Nearly four-fifths of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2022.
* Global cloud data center traffic is expected to reach 19.5 zettabytes (ZB) per year by 2021.
* Global cloud data center traffic will represent 95% of total data center traffic by 2021, versus 88% in 2016.
* By 2021, video will account for 85% of traffic from data centers to end users, compared to 78% in 2016.
* By 2021, data stored on devices to reach 5.9 ZB, which is 4.5x higher than data stored in data centers.
* By 2021, largely due to IoT, total amount of data created will reach 847 ZB per year, up from 218 ZB per year in 2016.
In AI, he said,
* By 2022, AI augmentation will create $3.9 trillion of business value.
* By 2025, it is predicted that AI edge device attach rates will be 100%, up from 10% in 2018.
* Almost all device categories will have an AI processor in them.
* China’s economy benefits most from AI, its GDP becoming 26.1% higher in 2030.
* North America: GDP growth due to AI by 2030 – 14.5% ($3.7 trillion)
* Northern Europe: GDP growth due to AI by 2030 – 9.9% ($1.8 trillion)
* Developed Asia: GDP growth due to AI by 2030 – 10.4% ($0.9 trillion)
* Latin America: GDP growth due to AI by 2030 – 5.4% ($0.5 trillion).
The 5G value chain alone could generate up to $3.5 trillion in revenue in 2035. The 5G value chain alone could support up to 22 million jobs. The total contribution of 5G to real global GDP growth is expected to be equivalent to a country like India.
He elaborated on nine key considerations for 5G spectrum. These are peak data rates, latency, mobility, spectrum efficiency, energy efficiency, user density, network capacity, reliability, and user type.
Spectrum for 5G is required for low, mid and high bands. Specifically, low-band below around 2 GHz, with wide-area coverage and deep indoor services, in 600MHz and 700MHz. In the mid-band, above 2 GHz to around 6 GHz combination of both coverage and capacity. These will be required in the 2.3GHz and 2.5GHz, 3.4GHz and 4.8 GHz, and 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Finally, for high-band, the need is above 6 GHz at extremely high peak data rates, in 26GHz and 28GHz, and 40GHz and 60GHz, respectively.
Rajan Mathews, Director General, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), said that standards are taking prominence in terms of making the country ready for 5G. We’ve done many things, which are right and necessary. Sovereignty today means the ability to stop the cyber threats and it transcends borders. We have to be ready on the technology forefront and that includes 5G users want higher internet speed to drive emerging technology ventures e.g., automatic vehicles, robotic surgery etc. 5G is cost efficient. We are ready to adopt it.
We have got to get the pricing of the spectrum right from TRAI. 5G will not supplement 4G and will not be a wall-to-wall network. It has to be integrated with 4G. Our 4G is already prepared for 5G. Security is embedded in our 5G standards. It is not going to be a B2C, but a B2B issue.
Ms. Aruna Sundararajan, former Telecom Secretary, DoT, Government of India, said there are lot of people who feel that we’ve not even been given 4G fully, so why we need to spend so much of time and energy on 5G. We need to understand that 5G is a single all-purpose technology. More than 50% of the global trade last year was in the digital arena and primarily on mobile. It is also recognised globally that this is the new commercial engine for the world. Even the US Congress is spending time to understand 5G.
It has not only the economic, but also strategic consequences. We all know that India is facing a slowdown and hence, we need new growth engines. In our economic analysis we’ve not fully understood the role of ICTs and telecoms. For India, at this juncture we know for a fact that the digital sector is going to be on the forefront.
We need to look at the economically viable infrastructure. It is the digital infrastructure that is the most important. We can’t wait for more than 1.5 years to get 5G. Our Parliamentarians and Chambers of Commerce must discuss the importance of 5G.
Pradeep Gupta, CMD, Cybermedia, noted that 5G is not just a telecom technology. It’s a common platform for businesses. It is essential to help the emerging technologies grow.
Session 1 – The Operator Excitement
Rahul Vatts, Executive VP & Head, Regulatory & Corporate Affairs, Vodafone-Idea, noted that 5G is going to be a digital platform for society. There are issues which we have to go around and I think we’ll able to do it. We at Vodafone are already prepared for 5G 80-90% and only thing we need to test is various use cases. Right now, we have not fully utilised 4G. 5G disruption is a little bit far away from us. Theoretically yes, but in practical terms, it may take time.
Another important point is the pricing. Germany has sold the 5G spectrum at 1 Million per MHz. In India, TRAI has asked for Rs. 5 million per MHz. Germany has 40% more revenue than India. This is not going to work out for the operators. Adequate quantity is the second thing that remains unaddressed as far as the operators are concerned. The third aspect is the way the spectrum is going to be sold. We have to open the spectrum to more operators and avoid monopolisation of 5G by some companies.
Arvind Bali, Director, TSSC, said that we are ahead of the most of the world in telecom and we are catching up with the developed world. We are not only talking about 5G technology. We are talking about an ecosystem where we will not only provide 5G technology to the nation, but we’ll provide a lot of services to the world. Many people are asking we are just going towards 4G and why we have to spend so much energy in moving towards 5G.
The world is changing very fast. Every year there is a dramatic change. We have to make our lives better in every aspect. This can happen only when we have high speed network and we have to be prepared to receive technologies such as IoT, AI, ML, AR, VR etc. If we don’t have 5G at par with the world, the rest of the technology won’t be at par with the world either.
Vipin Tyagi, Executive Director & Chairman on Board, C-DOT, said that 5G will be panning out caring, sharing, changing and growing. More and more applications of 5G are being proposed. How are you going to care for the end users and customers? Second is sharing. We have to share the infrastructure and achieve the efficiency of 5G. This was not there in the case of 5G.
Telecommunication is no longer just telecommunication. We are now part of other sectors as well. There are sector-specific challenges. The core issue is that telecommunication now has to become enabler. Growing is very important. If we don’t grow, the engagement process will not proceed. Growing is very important.
The customer’s participation in the change process of the economy has to undergo a change. What we have to see is what things will happen with 5G, how our infrastructure and knowhow will be more competitive, how more jobs will get created, how the paradigm shift will happen in the pharmaceutical industry. Unless we are able to define all this, 5G economy will not exist.
Amit Marwah, CMO, Nokia India, said that there are important things that need to be considered when adopting 5G. First, the spectrum needs to be harmonised across the world. We shouldn’t re-invent something of our own. In terms of consisting between networks and devices, we have a great opportunity in front of us from the government.
We should use this opportunity to thrash out all the issues and try to resolve them from an India-specific perspective. 5G is going to affect industries, medical services, logistics, agriculture, and so on. It is going beyond certain connectivity to a large ecosystem. 5G can provide virtual learning in a very easy way and solve educational problems.
Session 2 – 5G Ecosystem Enablers
NK Goyal, Chairman, TEMA, said that earlier we were talking about when 5G will happen. The fact today is that 5G has already happened. There are a large number of operators in some of the markets who have gone commercial with 5G. So it’s not a myth anymore, it’s a reality.
In US, all operators have adopted 5G. In Japan, Korea, Australia, some parts of Europe and in some countries in the West Asia also 5G has been adopted. 5G makes the mobile connectivity to a different level. It connects every part of the society. So, it’s a societal change which will have an overall impact on the entire environment and on the economy in the future. It’s a phased revolution.
There are three broad categories of 5G – ultra broadband, massive machine to machine and ultra low latency. All of these have different types of use cases associated with them. Ultra latency may be a good use case for a mature market like the US, but may not be a use case for India. Similarly, use cases around making smart cities smarter, making water leakage less, making agriculture smarter, making virtual classrooms, remote medicine, making automotives sensor avert accidents are important. We keep debating whether it’s the right time for India to have 5G.
However, in today’s world of tech savvy consumers, it’s not going to be easy to keep the consumers deprived of any new technology that comes in. So, it should happen as soon as possible.
Mahesh Uppal, Director, ComFirst, noted that not only is the role of the government and regulators relevant, in this particular case, it is essential. The role of the government and regulators is to give the market a framework. The concerns of spectrum, devices, software, pricing etc.; virtually each one of these issues is a market issue. Market entrepreneurs, large and small businesses have a way of addressing these issues. People know where pitfalls lie and what opportunities there are.
The success of 5G will depend upon two-three major points. One key issue is how and when the spectrum is made available, when and how 5G is deployed and to what extent. The cost of 5G deployment is going to cost about 5 trillion rupees, and this kind of money is simply not available. There needs to be an alternative objective and transparent.
We must also recognise that given the state of our economy at the moment, this will be a problem. Whether the government is willing to accept the lower price, whether the operators are able to mobilise the resources will determine when and how 5G will be deployed, irrespective of the technology, use cases etc. Another issue is of licensing.
Randeep Raina, CTO, Nokia India, added that while we evolve our infrastructure to adapt to 5G, we need to revamp our skillforce to be able to handle 5G technology. Getting the skilled labour is not that easy. We need to impart the skills to do things in the right way. We anticipated the need for 5G. We have to think how India can become a manufacturing hub with 5G how we can also export equipment outside India.
While regulators, administrators, operators and the other stakeholders are working out how fast we can get 5G, we have already made plans and are working out the needs of the market much before the network comes.
Amit Sinha Roy, VP, Strategy & Marketing, Tata Communications, noted that about spectrum, we need to think what spectrum is. It’s just a band of radio frequency waves that we’d allow someone to use. I feel that we’re spending undue amount of efforts on spectrum aspect when there are so many other things to look at. 5G is actually an extension of wired broadband network. If we don’t have the requisite infrastructure it would be difficult to deploy 5G.
Network function virtualisation, software configuration and several other technologies will have to be deployed by the operators. We are already seeing the 5G devices coming in, but that’s only scratching the tip of the iceberg. 5G is not a B2C, it’s about B2B such as smart city, driverless cars etc. Primarily, because of the density and capacity required, in the initial phase, 5G is going to be B2B enterprise game.
Another aspect of 5G is the ability to take it to the rural areas such as in smart agriculture. But, you may not have the required density in the rural areas that you can potentially provide in urban areas. So, we have to ensure that we are able to install 5G wherever our use cases are.
Session 3 – Tech Confluence of Telecom & Cloud
Maj. Gen Ravi Chaudhary, Former Head – Digital Army Project, said that network convergence has happened. Data is being digitised. It has converged our work, data and video. Another kind of revolution is asynchronous. When data came in IP, this has led security issues. Everything is becoming virtualised. We look at the end device which has undergone a transformation from telephone to computer to smartphone and these devices became more and more portable. Finally, these convergences are merging into 5G where content and connectivity come together.
Santosh Akkula, Global CIO, Cloud & Infrastructure, Bharti Airtel, said that we need to think how to take data close to the consumer, how to make things smart for people. What is happening globally will eventually come to India. IoT is happening, but it will take time to become mass-used technology. OTT is rendering large number of vendors on the Internet.
Content delivery is the single-most stuff that people want. 5G is going to enable that to happen. The second wave will happen in farming. Once you have information, it is important to quickly turn it into actionable data, and to quickly use the data. Making intelligent decisions being able to make life easier for people is important. India is the cheapest in data in the world. But current pricing is not sustainable.