Local 5G Standards Existential Threat, Will Lock India Out of Global Ecosystem: Gopal Vittal

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Gopal Vittal, CEO of Bharti Airtel South Asia on Tuesday said that India needs to adopt 5G standards which are accepted globally. Going for 5G standards sourced locally is only going to result in India being locked out of the global ecosystem of technology. It is not the first time he has expressed this thought. Earlier as well, Vittal has expressed that Jio backing the 5G standards set by the Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI) is going to slow down the pace of innovation in India because of multiple reasons — more on the story ahead.

Adoption of Global 5G Standards Necessary for Indian Telecom Industry

As per a report from ET Telecom, Vittal compared the current gap in the outlook towards the local and global 5G standards with the CDMA and GSM debate. He pointed out that GSM won because it is accepted more widely against CDMA, even though the latter is technologically superior.

Global Mobile Supplier Association (GSA) had earlier reached out to the telecom regulatory and communicated its concerns about the 5G standards set by TSDSI. It said that the local 5G standards would create interoperability problems between the networks and the devices.

GSA said that if the local 5G standards were adopted, the cost of 5G devices would go up along with the cost of 5G services. But the claim was denied by Bhaskar Ramamurthi, the chairman of TSDSI.

Vittal has urged the telecom industry of India to come together for building the new ecosystem of telecommunications in India. He said that for India to build 5G together, all the differences between the key players and other parties need to be set aside. It would benefit everyone in the market.

Vittal also said that new and better policies need to be rolled out by the regulators and the government to keep access to the technology affordable. He further said that fibre lay down cost must be affordable because it is a major element in keeping India connected. Lastly, he expressed that spectrum cost must be lowered as well so that new networks in India can be built faster.

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