India’s 5G adoption will need more than a test bed
5G will play a key role in enabling initiatives in remote healthcare, Internet of Things, machine learning, and smart cities.
What the FM said: The Department of Telecom (DoT) will support the establishment of a 5G test bed with IIT Chennai.
What you need to know:
5G will play a key role in enabling initiatives in remote healthcare, Internet of Things, machine learning, and smart cities. “This is a good step because the government is taking into cognisance that implementation of 5G will happen realistically,” said Mritunjay Kapur, head - telecom, media and technology, KPMG India.
“If the telecom operators are able to implement 5G by the timeframe that the government is envisioning, we possibly will be the early adopters of 5G. It means that use cases like digitisation and IoT become a reality earlier,” said Kapur.
“We need a better connect between strategy and execution, especially in terms of Digital India, so that we are able to leverage the enhanced allocation,” said DD Mishra, research director at research and advisory firm Gartner India.
The Fine Print
The success of the initiative will depend on various aspects that the government, DoT, and regulator TRAI need to address.
The government’s intent has to go beyond merely making a statement that India is implementing next-generation technologies. “Success will depend on the goal of the test bed. If it is to understand how 5G will be beneficial in relevant use cases and enabling new technologies, it will bring value in the long-term,” said Amresh Nandan, research director, Gartner India.
Then issues of taxes, appropriate band, spectrum availability, and more important, spectrum pricing, have to be addressed. The telecom sector is under huge debt and further investment will depend on spectrum pricing rationalisation. Nandan said the launch of 5G might see the onset of private 5G networks by large enterprises, which will enable new use cases across verticals.