A Parliamentary Standing Committee, set to be headed by Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, will examine India’s 5G preparedness with top telecom companies on October 27. The panel will review the ground zero situation on India’s relevant 5G use cases and the status of trials.
Recently, the Department of Space and the Defence Ministry had been asked to consider the DoT’s request to part with an idle 5G spectrum, both in the coveted 26 Ghz millimeter wave band and those in the 3.3 – 3.6 Ghz frequencies for commercial use by telcos. Moreover, the DoT has urged the government to release a whopping 3,000 units of premium millimeter waves in the 26 Ghz band and 300 units in the 3.3 – 3.6 Ghz for 5G services.
In addition to 5G providing significant network performance characteristic improvements over the previous generations, it is expected to add various service dimensions beyond the traditional voice and data through enabling technologies like Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Augemented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) etc. giving rise to use cases across industry verticals. Deloittee, in its recent report with CII, said 5G could be the answer to the digital aspirations harbored by the industry. Umang Das, CII National Committee on Telecom & Broadband, had said the fifth generation of wireless networks will allow new innovations to flourish and dramatically change our day-to-day live. He said billions of new connected devices will come online in the next decade. The report states that 5G provides a lower cost wireless alternative for last mile connectivity with almost matching speeds and user experience. It is estimated that a 10 per cent increase in broadband penetration could result in one per cent increase in GDP, and with relatively low broadband penetration in the country, the opportunity is huge.
Indian telecom giants are also moving keenly and steadily towards 5G; with Reliance Jio recently announcing that with Qualcomm, it has developed an open an interoperable interface compliant architecture based 5G solutions with a virtualized RAN. Bharti Airtel is also developing 5G technologies in India.