5G Roll-Out Should be Fast-Tracked, Government Needs to Understand: Opinion

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5G, the next-generation network technology, still feels like a distant dream to millions in India. This is because of poor planning by the government. Further delays in the roll-out of 5G will put India severely behind other nations.

India has one of the largest telecom markets in the world. If it can roll-out commercial 5G networks soon, it will have the opportunity to lead the world in the said technology.

5G has several use-cases, some of which haven’t even been discovered yet. Thus, an early roll-out of 5G will allow India to innovate and produce faster than other nations.

India Behind Other Nations in 5G At the Moment

Looking at the global 5G map, India seems to be too behind other nations. Even Nepal is going to test 5G soon and might launch it commercially this year.

While India is a much bigger market than Nepal, even a soft-launch of 5G in metro cities will allow the operators to rapidly test and improve their technology.

Many nations have already started testing 5G for multiple use-cases and deploying new technology based on that. For India to stay ahead of the curve, the government will have to reassess its plans for 5G soon.

The telcos submitted proposals for testing 5G in the 3300-3600 MHz spectrum more than a year ago, but the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) hasn’t provided them with the spectrum yet.

All the private operators in India have said their networks are 5G ready. It will take them no time to upgrade their networks to provide seamless 5G services.

The government plans to hold an auction for the 5G spectrum in the second half of 2021. However, telcos such as Airtel have said that the floor price for the 5G spectrum is too high. The government needs to reduce before telcos can even think about purchasing it.

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