The Broadband India Forum (BIF) in a statement has discredited the rumours suggesting that the telecom sector will witness a loss in revenues and has said that private 5G captive networks will lead to increased productivity for the enterprises and drive better revenues for the telecom service providers. The president of BIF, T V Ramachandran in a letter to Department of Telecommunications (DoT) secretary, K Rajaraman said that telcos will receive a good portion of the revenue from the private network services which will include voice and data communications.
According to a report from ET Telecom, Ramachandran stated that Captive usage in the current situation would only contribute a minor share in processes/applications like robotics, automation, etc., due to challenges in delivering the required SLAs through public networks. He added that because of this, the speculated loss in revenues for telcos via enterprise services is a misplaced one.
The recent recommendations provided by TRAI have been strongly opposed by the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) which represents Jio, Airtel and Vi. COAI has argued that allowing enterprises to set up private networks will kill the 5G business case for them. Recent recommendations from TRAI suggest administrative allocation of the 5G spectrum on demand for private enterprise networks through a publicised online portal-based process.
Telcos have stated that if the government accepts the proposal recommended by TRAI, the telecom operators could lose a huge chunk of revenue in their 5G enterprise endeavours. They put forward the case that revenue loss to such an extent won’t justify capital expenditure in setting up 5G networks. BIF which represents Cisco, Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Facebook-owner Meta, Qualcomm and Intel among its key members, on the other hand, stated in the letter that A public telecom network set up by a telecom licensee would necessarily have to be one which optimises the various needs of a diverse population. It would be ‘tunable’ to a limited extent to meet specific enterprise ‘QoS’ needs.
The latest recommendations from TRAI on 5G pricing suggest that private enterprises directly obtain a 5G spectrum from the government and establish their own captive wireless private network (CWPNs), permission/license for which can be acquired via a “light touch’ online portal-based regime.”