In a thrust to roll out 5G in 2020 in line with the global markets, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday that the Department of Telecom (DoT) will support a 5G-test bed at IIT Chennai. The 5G technology is being standardised globally to enable the Internet of Things (IoT) applications. The centre at IIT-Chennai can work on the development of IoT and Machine to Machine applications which are relevant and best suited for India. “The setting up of 5G centre in collaboration with IIT Chennai would help India being an early adopter of the next generation technology rather than being a laggard,” said Hemant Joshi, Partner, Deloitte India.
“This could be a boon for the telecom industry and guide the telecom operators to move to next-gen networks efficiently and effectively. India could take lead in setting up standards for the next-generation technologies,” Joshi added. Last November, global communications technology leader Ericsson showcased the first-ever live 5G end-to-end demonstration in the country. According to Ericsson, 5G technology will enable a $27.3 billion revenue potential for the Indian telecom operators by 2026. “The 5G technology showcase has been organised in the direction of creating a robust 5G ecosystem as the government plans to have 5G network rollout by 2020,” said Nunzio Mirtillo, Head of Market Area-SE Asia, Oceania and India, Ericsson.
The largest 5G opportunity will be seen in sectors like manufacturing, energy and utilities followed by public safety and health sectors. The retail sector in India will offer potential 5G-enabled revenue of up to $1.15 billion by 2026. “2017 was significant for the telecom sector as India skipped from 2G to 4G with all the telecom players focusing on 4G. The focus on creation and augmentation of telecom infrastructure in 2018-19 and efforts of the government towards 5G is really applaudable,” said Vinu Cheriyan, CFO & Director Operations at Sennheiser Electronics India Pvt Ltd.
According to Jay Chen, CEO, Huawei Telecommunications India, the budget laid down plans to connect additional 1.5 lakh gram panchayats with fibre optic networks under the “BharatNet”. “This will create access and affordability and will help in bridging the digital divide even further,” Chen said in a statement.