5G in India will empower tech companies, enterprises and ecosystem players to build private networks and bring next-generation digital transformation which is critical for the country to achieve the goal of becoming a $1 trillion digital economy, industry leaders and experts said on Wednesday.
Hailing the Union Cabinet's decision to approve the telecom department's proposal to conduct 5G spectrum by the end of next month, Broadband India Forum (BIF) said that this will lead to better efficiencies, productivity and output for the enterprises, accelerate digitisation, boost capabilities, propel indigenous manufacturing and eventually garner greater economic gains for the country.
"As we look to cement India's position as a global hub for the manufacturing, supply chain and R&D, as well as one of the leading digital economies across the world, the advancement of enterprises through dedicated captive private 5G networks will help gain efficiencies in all vital industry verticals," said TV Ramachandran, BIF President.
Private 5G networks are about the deployment of high speed, enhanced data capacity, and ultra-low latency applications inside a closed manufacturing unit, hospital, airport, shipping port, etc.
The Notice Inviting Applications (NIA) for the spectrum auction, released on Wednesday, permits all the four methods of allocating spectrum for Private 5G Networks as recommended by the Telecom Authority of India (TRAI), including the option of enterprises obtaining spectrum directly from the Department of Telecommunication (DoT).
This provides enterprises the much-required right to develop their private 5G networks based on the specialised requirements for their distinctive captive use, said the BIF.
Leading industry bodies have hailed the TRAI recommendations of around 35-40 per cent cut in the reserve price for 5G spectrum for mobile services, terming it historic and which can finally put India on the world 5G map.
The telecom regulator has put forward a mega auction plan valued at over Rs 7.5 trillion at the base price allocated over 30 years.
According to Neil Shah, Vice President of Research, Counterpoint Research, this is big news in the second largest mobile market globally where the government has cleared 72GHz of 5G spectrum with no upfront payment which is great for smaller companies and enterprises.
"As the government opens up spectrum beyond telcos which is a bold and welcome step to empower tech companies, enterprises and ecosystem players to build Private 5G networks," Shah told IANS.
Factories, university campuses, cities, transportation, ports can now build their secure, closed private networks, cloud infrastructure and services and accelerate their digital transformation journeys, Shah added.
With the Cabinet approval for 5G auctions, India is one step closer to realising a 5G-led future, with a strong base of 5G-capable devices already in place.
"5G is pivotal, not just from a digital connectivity perspective, but also to give a strong fillip to the government of India's initiatives in embracing, steering and leveraging emerging technologies," said Prabhu Ram, Head - Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR.
In doing so, 5G will foster new innovations for greater societal good.
"5G will also be a force multiplier for realizing India's vision as well as plans to become a $1 trillion digital economy by 2025," Ram told IANS.