The government has set up an ambitious target of rolling out the 5G technology in India by 2020, but Airtel is not much convinced. Bharti Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal has said India’s plan to roll-out 5G is good, but still a few years away. “The state of broadband infrastructure is dismal. We are (ranked) 136 in the world,” he said.
Gopal Vittal has also said that before rolling the 5G technology, it is important to ensure that one could use the 4G technology everywhere in India. “The first and most important step over the next couple of years is you could use 4G everywhere (sic),” he said.
Gopal Vittal further said that when the right time comes Airtel will be on the 5G technology. “I think 5G will come at its time. It’s good to see India engage in developmental standards but this is still a few years down the line,” Gopal Vittal said to TV news channels on the sidelines of the India Mobile Congress.
Bharti Airtel has already deployed a 5G capable technology through which users can enjoy faster data speeds on their existing 4G mobile devices without having to upgrade or change their tariff plans. It will start from Bengaluru and Kolkata.
Accelerating government’s plan to roll-out the 5G technology in the next three years, the centre has set-up a high-level 5G committee and is planning to Rs 500 crore to fund 5G activity, mainly on research and product development. The government aims to deliver about 10,000 megabits per second in urban areas and 1000 Mbps in rural locations.
TRAI’s chairman R S Sharma welcomed the move and said that the 5G technology will be cost-effective and will fulfil the aim of Digital India. “That’s ambitious and welcome step and we all must work towards developing 5G technology in India. I don’t think why industries will not come forward as the technologies are very cost effective and will make India truly digital.”
As India aims to be at par with the world when it rolls-out the 5G technology in 2020, Nokia has already put a mechanism in place to bridge the gap between the 4G and the 5G speeds. It has introduced AirScale MIMO Adaptive Antenna for 4.9G technology which will enhance the internet speed.