India targets leading role in 5G development - Mobile World Live

India targets leading role in 5G development

27 SEP 2017

The Indian government set up a “high-level forum” to devise a roadmap to deploy 5G technology by 2020 and established an INR5 billion ($76 million) pot to fund research and development.

Media reports quoted communications minister Manoj Sinha as saying: “We can’t be behind in 5G”, and the forum will help ensure “India, too, will be successful in launching 5G by 2020.”

Such efforts are to be lauded, but come at a time when (according to GSMA Intelligence) 2G networks still dominate the market. The analyst house claims that second generation networks make up 71 per cent of India’s total connections base, while 3G accounts for 16 per cent and 4G just 13 per cent.

Goals
The main goals of the new forum include achieving early deployment of 5G, which in turn will help digitise the economy, increase GDP and create employment.

Sinha said India is open to collaborating with other countries and doesn’t want to miss out on the opportunity of setting standards like it did with 3G and 4G.

Meanwhile a senior official said the government plans to leverage 5G to deploy next-generation broadband infrastructure: “through which we will aim to have 100 per cent coverage of 10Gb/s broadband across urban India and 1Gb/s across rural India”.

The investment pot will be available to the telecom, electronics and IT, and science and technology ministries. The forum itself will comprise secretaries of these ministries, the Telecom Standard Development Society India, stakeholders from industry associations and academics from various universities.

Operators in India have been working towards 5G. Earlier this month, India’s largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel entered into a strategic partnership with SK Telecom to develop standards for the technology.

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Saleha Riaz

Saleha joined Mobile World Live in October 2014 as a reporter and works across all e-newsletters - creating content, writing blogs and reports as well as conducting feature interviews...More

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