Union Budget 2019: With the commercial launch of 5G services in the US, China, and a few other markets, India is escalating its efforts to leverage the reachable resources to find a specific timeline that is in line with the global rollout of 5G connectivity. But the road to moving to the next-generation wireless network far earlier than its prequel has more turns than expected, especially from the Digital India purview. The question of whether India will be able to tackle the challenges in rolling out 5G services is looming on the infrastructure the telcos in India currently have.
But the Indian government is optimistic that it will join the US, the UK, and elsewhere. In fact, after its second landslide victory in the general elections this year, the newly sworn-in IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad asserted that the Department of Telecommunications will begin 5G trials in the next 100 days, followed by the high-stakes auction of the spectrum.
The telcos have been ramping up efforts to foray into the next-generation technology that will power millions of users more efficiently than the 4G network. Airtel, which accepted its defeat in terms of acquiring customers but resorted to increasing the ARPU, has begun phasing out 3G services starting with Kolkata circle.
In accordance with the current developments, the Union Budget 2019, which will project the Modi government’s ambitions to bring India to the global forefront – both technologically and economically, will introduce fresh efforts towards the Digital India programme. In its fourth year, Digital India will be crucial for the government to penetrate the uncharted population with a better infrastructure that needs to be easily accessible.
“There should be clear actions, policy and reforms to promote latest technologies like AI, IoT, Zero Trust, Machine learning, 3D printing, blockchain and simultaneously ensuring training facilities for all the mentioned technologies as part of skill development. Declare IT as a special focus sector for the country and roll out 5G in line with global markets,” said Shibu Paul, Vice President – International Sales, Array Networks.
The prospect of e-governance will balloon further with the new horizons that 5G technology will unlock, such as penetrable connectivity, remote delivery of citizen services, modernisation of rural areas, and minimisation of human involvement in the dissemination of such services, which has posed a challenge in the seamless flow of benefits to Indian citizens.