India has announced the rollout of 5G services from October 1 to become one of the few countries in South Asia to achieve this feat in the telecommunication sector.
The fifth generation of telecom services will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Indian Mobile Congress (IMC) to be held in Pragati Maidan, Delhi.
Initially, the service will start in select cities and progressively cover the entire country over the next couple of years.
“5G technology will provide seamless coverage, high data rate, low latency, and highly reliable communications. It will increase energy efficiency, spectrum efficiency and network efficiency,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.
Recently, the ministry of communications held an auction of 5G spectrum, allocating 51,236 MHz to telecom service providers with gross revenue of Rs 1,50,173 crores. The auction aggregated the demand for a robust 5G ecosystem that can cater to its use cases involving Internet of Things (IoT), Machine to Machine (M2M) communications, artificial intelligence (AI), edge computing, and robotics, as per government officials.
“5G can unleash new economic opportunities and societal benefits giving it the potential for being a transformational force for Indian society. It will help the country leapfrog the traditional barriers to development, spur innovations by startups and business enterprises as well as advance the ‘Digital India’ vision,” the ministry said in a release.
The cumulative economic impact of 5G on India is expected to reach $450 Billion by 2035, as per the government.
Department of telecommunications, which looks after regulation and implementation of telecom services in India, had set up a 5G testbed with help of IITs, IISc Bengaluru and SAMEER to develop technology in 2018.
A 5G Hackathon was launched in 2020 to trigger ideation and prototyping of use-cases by startups and has led to spurring innovative products. An inter-ministerial committee on 5G use cases has been functioning since 2021 in coordination with 12 central ministries, enabling setting up of 5G use-case labs.
“Consultations with Industry have been held enabling the 5G ecosystem to make 5G handsets available. A roundtable was held in Mumbai with Investors, Bankers and Industry on 5G Business opportunities and to identify key interventions by the government,” as per the release.
Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) has developed an indigenous 5G Non-Stand Alone (NSA) core. It is also developing 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) in collaboration with local industry and start-ups and has already tested its 4G core in collaboration with TCS and Tejas Networks successfully.
“All these efforts are game-changers for India’s manufacturing and Telecom ecosystem leading to domestic 5G enterprise carrier grade stacks as well as innovative impactful 5G use-cases,” the ministry said.
PM Modi will also inaugurate the 6th edition of IMC on Saturday which will continue till October 4.