5G is one of the hottest buzzwords in India, after Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. While the country is mulling over 3G and 4G technology and its proper implementation, telecom major like state-owned BSNL is planning to launch 5G in the country along with global markets.
BSNL CMD Anupam Shrivastava, addressing a crowd at India ka DNA 2019 Conclave organised by Zee Media, said that the company aims to roll out a full-fledged service by 2020.
The government-owned mobile network company is working with Nokia, Coriant, and ZTE on a technology roadmap to 5G.
The development comes four months after the telco’s deal with Japan’s NTT Advanced Technology Corporation, to create a 5G test bed in India.
When it comes to speed, 5G networks promise to offer data speeds up to 50 or 100 times faster than current 4G networks. This is going to benefit internet consumers in the country who often complain of low data speed and network fluctuations.
Importantly, the move will fortify BSNL growth in India, where it has been struggling to compete with private telecoms such as Airtel and Jio.
Recently, a government panel constituted for 5G deployment has recommended to set up research and development (R&D) labs to showcase the potential of the technology. The panel also said that airwaves in the 700 Mhz, 3.5 GHz, 24 GHz and 28 GHz bands can be made immediately available for the 5G service.
Led by A. Paulraj, the committee on 5G is expected to submit the report on the roadmap for deployment by August this year. Initially, 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.
BSNL has already sought airwaves in the premium 700 Mhz band from the Department of Telecom (DoT) for launching 5G, besides 4G services.
According to Swedish telecom gear-maker, Ericsson, the monthly data usage per smartphone will increase from 5.7 GB in 2017 to 13.7 GB by 2023. Notably, growth in LTE subscriptions, increasing smartphone penetration and demand for video-driven data will drive usage of 5G.
According to an industry estimation, 5G has the potential to enable a $27.3 billion revenue opportunity for Indian telcos by 2026. BSNL will be eyeing this opportunity to grab the largest slice of 5G market share.
The development was first reported by ET.