By Lt Gen Dr SP Kochhar
New Delhi, August 6 (IANS): The year 2022 is not only a proud moment for the Ministry of Communications, but also for every citizen of the country. The overwhelming response to the spectrum auction indeed marks the first step towards multidimensional growth through the 5G technology revolution.
5G, with all its capability, has the potential to transform the country in this digital age. 5G has brought hope for seamless connectivity and robust data availability, improving user experience and solving many technological challenges. In the post-Covid scenario, it has become the need of the hour as telecommunications and broadband form an important backbone infrastructure in the country.
We are happy that the country will soon witness the launch of commercial 5G. It will be able to reap its rewards and put India on the global map by boosting sectors like education, healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture and e-governance in the initial phase. New-era technologies like AI, VR, M2M, IoT, etc., which depend on the high-speed network, will also have more capable platforms.
Currently, we already have about 100 million customers equipped with 5G-enabled smartphones in the country. 5G is expected to account for 500 million connections, or 40% of mobile customers, by the end of 2027, according to the Ericsson Mobility 2022 report.
Over the period 2023-2040, we estimate that 5G technologies will contribute approximately $450 billion to the Indian economy (0.6% of GDP by 2040). Companies like Nokia and Ericsson, which have their manufacturing plants in India, can scale up production of 5G equipment to meet demand and support the rollout of 5G services.
Fiber optic cables (OFCs) are key linchpins for incremental 5G innovation. The Ministry of Communications has decided to extend the allocation of backhaul frequencies to help networks with poor fiber connectivity to upgrade faster. It is predicted that by March 2023, India will have nearly 75,000 5G sites.
The government is expected to gross Rs 1,50,173 crore from the recently concluded 5G spectrum auction, now better spectrum availability will improve service quality and telecom operators will ensure robust 5G connectivity for our compatriots. 5G has the potential to transform the country by catalyzing a digital revolution.
To achieve the dream of 5G network, telecom operators may need to shell out an additional 2-3 million rupees within two to three years to upgrade the network and ensure the improved quality of services.
The deployment of 5G will also require more labor, which could lead to an increase in the level of employment in the telecommunications sector of more than 100 million within a few years. This will also allow telecommunications and related sectors to generate more indirect jobs.
Considering the importance of the telecommunications sector and the need to ensure its smooth functioning, the government has announced initiatives such as National Broadband Mission to ensure last mile connectivity to all corners of the country.
The introduction of Gati Shakti – National Master Plan for Multimodal Connectivity, a nationwide project worth Rs 100 lakh crore for the development of “holistic infrastructure” – was another initiative aimed at creating a robust telecommunications ecosystem thanks to renewed focus on Bharat Net and Production Linked Incentive System.
The first 5G spectrum auction in India and the roll out of its services is seen as a national milestone and can be considered a success for “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”. 5G will be a major force in realizing India’s vision of becoming a $1 trillion digital economy by 2025. It will also pave the way for the rise of new technologies that can transform the ecosystem. digital technology and to take a step forward towards the realization of “digital India”. vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Spectrum is a very important element of telecommunications connectivity. The quality of services will improve with the increased availability of spectrum. Spectrum allocation will be completed on schedule and 5G services will be available by September/October.
Furthermore, it shows that the telecom sector is on an upward trajectory.