By Nitin Bansal
5G services are expected to be rolled out in India over the next few months. As the buzz around 5G continues to grow louder, a few questions need to be answered on what it would mean for consumers and businesses. Imagine a rural setting where a schoolgirl is taking remote lessons, a paramedic attending to a patient, or a farmer enjoying the benefits of digital financial services! All these are possible with better connectivity. With the rollout of 5G services, we will witness the limitless possibilities of increased connectivity for India’s diverse industries, people, and communities.
5G a boon for businesses
The 5G technology will not only create a more digitally inclusive India, but also significantly contribute towards our Prime Minister’s vision of India becoming a $5-trn economy. 5G has the potential to spark a digital revolution while also improving efficiency and productivity across sectors, be it healthcare, education, agriculture, sports, manufacturing or any other. It will solve real business problems by improving efficiency and the quality of service for enterprises.
A recent enterprise study on 5G by Omdia in the Indian market revealed that more than half (52%) of Indian enterprises want to start using 5G within the next 12 months and a further 31% expect to use it by 2024. They consider 5G to be critical to their digital transformation. The main benefits of 5G are superior network performance enabling automation and new ways of working. The study highlights that quality of experience rather than price drives customers to buy 5G. The top 5G use cases that enterprises identify are enhanced content streaming, real-time video analytics and control of autonomous vehicles and drones.
Thus, 5G presents a significant opportunity to drive the digital transformation of enterprises and the socio-economic development of India. For consumers, 5G will offer ultra-low latency and greater bandwidth. In the early stage, we will see use cases like improved mobile broadband (eMBB) and fixed wireless access (FWA). These will help address the issue of low fixed broadband penetration in India and improve consumers’ data experience on the go. Consumers will be able to view 4K video, use AR/VR/mobile gaming apps and new apps, and engage in other immersive activities on their smartphones.
Given the rapid data growth that the Indian market is witnessing, high performing 5G networks will help the service providers manage network performance better. At 18.4 GB per month (in 2021), the average traffic per smartphone in India is the second-highest globally and is projected to grow to around 50 GB per month in 2027. By 2027, 5G will represent around 39% of mobile subscriptions in India, that is 500 mn subscriptions, as per the Ericsson Mobility Report.
From setting up the very first switch in India, in 1903, to providing connectivity across 2G, 3G, 4G – and now 5G – at Ericsson we continue to play a pivotal role in powering virtually every facet of telecommunications in the country.
The writer is MD, India & Head-Networks, South East Asia, Oceania and India, Ericsson