How to Make 5G Happen in India?

Though there’s too much hype around 5G, but what actually is required for 5G deployment in India. Why are we talking about 5G when we are not yet done with 4G? Well, these are some of the questions which generally pop up whenever we talk of 5G.

In the recently held Telecom Leadership Forum, Abhay Savargaonkar, Group CTO, Bharti Airtel, explained that 5G is basically pillared around three big things: ultra fast broadband, ultra low latency and AI and analytics, that is all about machine learning.

“We all are talking about huge number of simultaneous connections which is massive machines communication. 5G is revolving around three big pillars– ultra fast broadband, ultra low latency and AI and analytics, and all of these transform the cyber physical system that forms the pillar of fourth industrial revolution. And all these could be delivered through 5G.”

“The telecom industry will be at the center of this revolution and this is exactly the reason why all partners and vendors in the telecom industry are hyping about 5G as the next big thing”.

“If that is the scenario it is very critical that we build up the 5G ecosystem right away. What it take to build the 5G ecosystem.
Of course, spectrum and capacity and so as the part of the industry move, we have pushed band 40, which is available to us, to 3GPP in order to be incorporated as 5G band which should happen in the next 5-6 months,” he added.

The next thing is 3.5 gigahertz which is already part of the auction. So, spectrum and capacity, is absolutely the key to make the big thing to happen. The second big element is fiber identification. Unless and until this level of identification is done that’s needed for 5G, we won’t be able to achieve what we want to actually, he added.

Having lagged in 3G and 4G, India’s ambitious goal is to adopt 5G by 2020 at par with the world with regulatory and government support. In fact, with the advent of IoT and automation, 5G is going to play a critical role. However, a vibrant 5G ecosystem requires advancement in design and manufacturing of 5G technologies, products and solutions in India; 5G start-ups that enable this design and manufacturing capabilities ; manufacturing of 5G chipsets — this may require massive investments; appropriate test
beds and technology platforms to enable and help Indian technical ecosystem to have an edge in 5G.

Vishant Vora, CTO, Vodafone, mentioned that 5G deployment in India has already started taking place.
“There are part so many things as a part of 5G you can do today. For example, massive mimo that is one technology that was originally designed and intended for 5G. We already deployed it in India on our 4G. We have already done that in Delhi, Mumbai and we are expanding to other cities. Also, the concept of Hetnet or small cells, we are deploying that in a big way,” Vora said.

“Having made significant investments in 4G recently, the challenge for India is to bring the benefits of 5G technologies into 4G and thus maximize the impact on society and businesses,” he added.

Nitin Bansal, Vice President and Head of Network Products, Ericsson India, mentioned: “5G enabled digitization revenues in India will be US $25.9 billion by 2026. The largest opportunity will be seen in sectors like manufacturing, energy and utilities followed by public safety and health sectors.”

As the government’s ambitious Digital India program is heavily dependent on the telecom sector’s ability to invest in these technologies like 5G, for everything to fall into place and India to leapfrog into the future as is the vision, the government has to reduce the levies and provide an easier financial environment. For make 5G to happen in the country, we need future forward policies and robust cyber-security ecosystem too.

The other panelists in the 5G session–‘Transforming Aspirations into Reality’–were Sameer Dave, CTO, Aircel, Ashwani Khillan, COO, American Tower Rajesh Chainani, Managing Director-Service Provider Network & Cloud, Cisco APJ, Ankit Agarwal, Director, Telecom Products, Sterlite Technologies and Vikram Tiwathia, DDG,COAI.

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