The rollout of 5G is picking up pace around the world with more countries adopting the new technology as an integral part of digital transformation and economic recovery. India is one such country that has realized the prospects of 5G-powered innovation for growth and development.
According to a report by telecom company Ericsson, 5G connections across the globe are estimated to be 3.5 billion and India will account for 350 million subscriptions by 2026. “In 2026, 60 percent of the world’s population will have access to 5G coverage, with 5G subscriptions forecast to reach 3.5 billion. In India, 5G subscriptions will surpass 350 million, accounting for 27 percent of all mobile subscriptions in 2026,” the report stated.
5G innovation across industries
The launch of 5G in India is expected to take place in the second half of 2021 and will lead to the creation of smart cities and smart manufacturing, new business models, better education and healthcare among others, Director-General of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), SP Kochhar stated.
“The Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative will lead to revenue growth to $26.38 billion by 2020 while the number of internet subscribers in the country is expected to double by 2021 to 829 million, and overall IP traffic is expected to grow four times at a CAGR of 30% by 2021,” he added.
Diversified service offerings
In addition, some of the benefits that the 5G network will offer after its launch is the high quality and speed which will lead to the use of more voice and data services and OTT platforms.
The cumulative economic impact of 5G will be tremendous, expected to reach $1 trillion in India by 2035, according to a report by a government-appointed panel.
The public-private partnerships to get broadband growth and penetration, is one of the accomplishments of the network, which brings with it 5G trials and testing, network densification among others.
The decision to introduce the fifth generation mobile network came after an increase in customer spending on voice and data services in the first quarter of this fiscal year through June, which increased 16.6% year-on-year, amounting to $4.80 billion, Kochhar noted.
As such, 5G brings with it many other benefits like being able to download high volume of data such as 8K movies and games with better graphics in a blink of an eye. After the network spreads and turns commercial, users will need to update their devices to 5G-enabled ones.
According to an Ericsson report, India, the second most populated country, has the highest average traffic per smartphone user at 15.7 GB per month, assisted by low prices for mobile broadband services, affordable smartphones, and increased time spent by people online.
On the other hand, LTE (4G) remains the central technology in India this year, accounting for 63 percent of mobile subscriptions while 3G will become obsolete by 2026, in parallel with an increase in subscriptions from 710 million in 2020 to 820 million in 2026.
The use of 5G will expand to more than just service offerings on mobile devices by forming the essential structure for emerging technologies such as machine to machine communication, internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) and more. In turn, these features will support a variety of applications and services, including driverless vehicles, tele-surgery and real time data analytics.
The network will allow the emergence of the fourth industrial revolution while serving citizens by facilitating daily activities – to help amid the current crisis that has shifted much of our lives online – as well as granting flexibility to mobile operators to optimize customer-centric services.