Till Sep 2016, many people were using 2G services because 3G services were expensive at that time. But when Jio launched cheap 4G services in September 2016, many users started buying 4G mobile to use 4G services. Though the main reason is the cheap prices of 4G, another important reason for this is… there is a lot of difference between 3G & 4G. With 4G, video calls services and the internet browsing speeds have improved a lot. So, people made the switch. But now many people may not invest in buying 5G handsets, because the present internet speeds are already enough for many people. And definitely 5G services will be expensive considering the investment telecom service provides are going to invest. People may not be interested in spending more. So, there is a fear in telecom service providers that whether they will get returns or not.
In 2017, Indian government has set up Rs. 500 crores fund for Research & Development of 5G Technology and thereby to roll out 5G by 2020, and it is also planning to auction 5G spectrum by January 2020. so Indian government is ready for this transition. Even, internet users and hence the data consumption is increasing at a rapid rate in India. So, telecom companies can safely invest in 5G technology & can expect returns.
CXO TV caught up with the industry experts to know their take on the deployment of 5G wherein, Sandeep Kapoor, Director – Marketing, Keysight Technologies, talk about service and it’s two angles and the real promise of 5G is transformation or providing connectivity services from individuals to providing connectivity services to multiple verticals / industries. There is a need to provide connectivity services to transportation business, healthcare business, financial sector. Kapoor says, the user group is almost ready. The healthcare structure in India is one of the most successful use cases. He thinks providing a specialized type of healthcare service will change the level for providing the health care services. He agrees that there is readiness like when we talk about our own 562 trials have been conducted in different parts of the world across different frequency bands and there is already identification process for finalizing the band frequency. So there are already networks which have been rolled out approximately in 15 countries and there will be 60 more networks which will be rolled out by the end of the 2019. So from the perspective of technology, if it can be done in other countries then it can be done in India also. And we are ready, our ecosystem is also ready. But, Spectrum is a major issue and I think this is something which will get sorted out in the next few months. And of course the implementations which have happened to know that in the initial stages will come to know more about the installations, then we can have a very robust type of network in India.
On the other hand, Sergiy Bityukov, Senior Marketing Manager at UTStarcom says, ” India is quickly getting ready and understanding of the necessity of or for usefulness of 5G”. But he thinks a few things must be quickly addressed again in terms of infrastructure, frequencies licensing and so on. It should be addressed to really make the industry ready for a quick deployment of 5G from technology perspective.
Therefore, we can say that India is ready to implement 5G at par with the global launch, but we cannot expect full transition soon. It may take a few more years for the full transition to take place.