The promising year 2021 is set to take the country in the new decade which for sure will discover new horizons of economic development. India is the second-largest mobile market in the world after China and this attracts major mobile manufacturing giants to the country. The rapidly changing industry is full of innovation and technology. With the new technology 5G knocking on the door, we all have a common question in our minds, when will 5G launch in India?
Let us explore the possibilities of the 5G in India.
What is 5G and how it is significant?
In simplest words, 5G is the 5th Generation Mobile Network. The technology marked its presence in the year 2019 and it is meant to be the successor of the 4G.
This new wireless technology is designed to connect machines, devices, and objects virtually for enhanced performance. 5G will provide better connectivity, reliability, and low latency. The next-gen technology will be a power for the economic growth of the country.
The big question, when will 5G launch in India?
Backed by the deep pockets, Reliance Jio is set to take the lead in developing and launching the much-awaited 5G technology in India. The company officials claimed in the latest financial report ended December 2020, that the equipment set is already in the advanced development stages.
Reliance Jio has confirmed it’s indigenously developed 5G core network are now up to the mark of 1Gbps. This will pave the way for the commercial use of the technology in near future. Therefore, we can be assured that we can enjoy the benefits of ultra-fast 5G networks by the end of this year.
On the other hand, Airtel has already conducted 5G trails in Gurugram in association with Huawei of China. However, the company has not detailed its plan in regard to the launch of 5G in India citing the main hurdle in the process is its cost inefficiency although the officials claim that the company is 5G ready. Additionally, the future of Huawei in India is yet undecided.
Vi is one of the leading telcos of the world but when it comes to India, the company has been struggling and had to collaborate with Idea to sustain its market forget about the profitability. The company has switched from 4G to 5G architecture and will be able to provide the services as soon as the spectrum is made available.
However, things are not as simple as they seem for the future of the 5G network in India.
5G spectrum is not yet rolled out in India.
What are the challenges for the launch of 5G in India?
The prime most challenge is the no availability of the 5G frequency bands. A prerequisite for a 5G network is a spectrum of 3,300-3,600MHz however; the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) may host 700-2,500MHz in the coming months. This will be unfavorable for the 5G roll out in the country.
Secondly, the Telcos will have to face the overly priced spectrum. According to Reuters, for each unit of a 5G spectrum the Telcos will have to pay a base price of $69.2 million (Rs 492 crore). Given the prices, companies will have to compete for profitability.
Additionally, the operators will also have to bear the extra cost of advertisements, maintenance, staff, and cellular site deployment.
Is India actually ready for the 5G network?
While the Telcos are rigorously upgrading for the upcoming transformation, the Indian market remains to be a volatile one. An average user uses the network for calling, browsing, or HD video streaming. It’s highly unlikely that he will upgrade to a costlier 5G network when the 4G is already proficient in fulfilling these requirements.
These factors may make the path tough for the telecommunication companies in the coming days. But eventually, they cannot afford to lose the game by not updating in the second-largest smartphone market in the world.
It would be interesting to see what steps the Government of India will take to reduce the dependency on Huawei Electronics a Chinese giant. Undoubtedly, 5G is essential for the booming economy, and for the vision of ‘Make in India’ backed by the Central government. With the ambitious vision to develop an indigenous 5G network, India can look forward to exporting the services. We will have to wait for the time for the 5G launch in India, then only the future will unveil the new world of possibilities. Surely 2021 is going to be a big year!