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With defined use cases in railways and banking, panel on 5G advocates for R&D labs


A government panel constituted to provide a roadmap for 5G deployment has recommended government to release spectrum early and set up research and development (R&D) labs to showcase the potential of the technology.

The panel suggested that the government announce the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz, 24 GHz and 28 GHz bands as 5G spectrum bands.

“Early available spectrum will allow growth of manufacturing capability,” A. Paulraj, Chairman of the 5G panel, told Mint. The panel has also emphasised that the telecom department identify 600 MHz, 1.4 GHz, 30 GHz, 31 GHz and 37 GHz as 5G bands.

The committee plans to submit the report on the roadmap for deployment by August this year.

According to DoT official, the plan is to set up 5G use case labs in six to seven verticals including banking, railways, agriculture, manufacturing, health, smart village and power.

Earlier in February this year, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan had said that DoT is in the process of framing new policies and getting positive inputs for the new generation. The 5G technology will be anchored by the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

Some industry estimates suggested 5G has the potential to enable a $27.3-billion revenue opportunity for Indian telcos by 2026.

In an effort to tap the growth opportunity, Tech Mahindra is planning to roll out 5G services by 2019. It’s not the only to test the 5G technology. Previously, Bharti Airtel had conducted the first 5G trial in India through a joint initiative with the Chinese telecom gear maker Huawei.

Last year in August, Huawei released its 5G-oriented mobile bearer solution ‘X-Haul’ that has been targeting to help operators in India towards building the next generation network.

Besides, Swedish telecom gear-maker, Ericsson, which is readying itself for 5G in India, has invested around $4 billion in research and development.

According to industry experts, 5G networks will be significantly faster and more reliable than the most advanced 4G network and will support the connection of many more devices simultaneously.

It will be key to the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) and can trigger usages of the Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled devices in the country. Once established, 5G networks promise to offer data speeds up to 50 or 100 times faster than current 4G networks.

The network can be proved pivotal in triggering the consumption of data usage in India which is projected to grow from 3.9 GB per month per smartphone by end-2017 to 18 GB by 2023.

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