TRAI has released a consultation paper seeking industry input on obstacles to the fast adoption of 5G technologies in businesses, with a deadline for responses set for October 30
The paper stresses the need for an effective ecosystem involving telecom providers, equipment manufacturers, and the government, and also calls for infrastructure upgrades to meet 5G standards
The document highlights a dispute between large enterprises and telecom operators over direct allocation of 5G spectrum, amidst growing internet penetration and competition for high-speed internet access in India
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a consultation paper inviting industry feedback on challenges hindering the rapid adoption of 5G technologies for businesses.
While the written inputs could be sent over by October 30, counter-comments have been sought by November 13. The move aims to accelerate the integration of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to foster automation across various sectors.
The paper highlights the need for collaborative efforts among telecom service providers, original equipment manufacturers, infrastructure providers, and the government to promote consumer adoption and market readiness.
It emphasises that existing infrastructure must be upgraded to meet 5G standards, identifying fiberisation of networks as a critical requirement for 5G deployment in diverse industries.
The document also addresses the ongoing tension between telecom operators and large enterprises concerning access to 5G networks. While large corporations are advocating for direct allocation of 5G spectrum from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for enhanced flexibility and privacy, telecom providers argue that such an approach could prove costly, inefficient, and operationally burdensome.
As internet penetration in India surpassed 700 Mn users by December 2022, competition for access to 5G spectrum has intensified. A Nielsen India report states that over 450 Mn internet users, aged 12 years and above, engage in video-related activities.
With the increasing use of the internet for such video activities, telecom operators are striving to offer high-speed internet access at competitive prices.
In related news, Reliance Industries Ltd’s telecom division, Jio, is planning to secure $2 Bn in offshore loans to facilitate its 5G rollout across India, with BNP Paribas acting as the lead arranger.
On Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the launch of 5G services, mentioning that India is also preparing for 6G technologies. Last month, Union Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced that over 3 lakh 5G mobile sites have been established by telecom operators within just 10 months of the service’s introduction, labeling it as the world’s fastest 5G rollout and a milestone for technological progress in the country.