After waiting hopelessly for months and seeing other countries moving ahead at a brisk pace, the Indian 5G train has finally started rolling. Two out of the three leading telecom providers – Airtel and Jio have already started testing the next-gen technology and if reports are to be believed we are still over a year away from the official announcement of 5G in India.
That said, there are a few things that may make the Indian 5G story slightly different from most other nations. According to a report by The Hindu Business Line, India might get commercial 5G only by 15th August next year and the Prime Minister plans to announce the commercial availability on the 75th anniversary of Independence.
Additionally, while a lot of nations are dependent on Chinese technology for 5G, which has become a major cause of contention, India will be using indigenously developed technology both – Software as well as Hardware, to facilitate 5G rollout in the country.
The Make in India impact
Ever since the Indo-China relations got strained due to the border tensions, companies doing business across the border also got impacted. India banned over 200 applications of Chinese origin and also cancelled various contracts given to Chinese companies.
The impact also trickled down on the 5G implementation in the country. While the Government hasn’t officially denied the Chinese players like Huawei and ZTE from participating in the 5G journey, however, the ground rules laid by the department don’t support Chinese companies.
This has given Indian companies a chance to develop their technology or collaborate with global vendors like Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and Qualcomm etc to source their hardware. In the end, it augurs well with the Indian PMs mantra of “Self-Reliance.”
“The 5G network would start around August next year and the PM may launch it officially on August 15. The major surprise of the launch will be that you will find a lot of Indian technology – be it in hardware or software – in it. As you are aware, India is very strong in software, so many technologies will be dependent on our local software companies. They will be the backbone,” The Hindu Business Line quoted a senior government official.
Boosting local technology and supporting companies that are developing technology within the country seem to be the underlying idea behind the plan to announce the commercial availability of 5G on 15th August.
Not just smartphones
5G connectivity isn’t just about offering blazing fast mobile internet that can facilitate movie downloads. It is much more. The next-gen connectivity is aimed at offering high-speed connectivity to devices and sensors that can aid in disaster management, edu-tech, healthcare, farming and more.
5G is the necessity in getting various sensors and gadgets to work in tandem. The Indian start-up ecosystem and the existing Indian tech companies are already working in this direction. Some of the key areas where 5G can bring a change are autonomous vehicles, smart wearables, Smart cities, buildings, and agriculture, Drones, AR/VR and more and since we’re just starting with 5G, we will experience a lot of innovative use cases as the technology matures.