Implementation and wide-scale 5G rollouts are going to be very costly for the telcos. For India to be at the forefront with 5G technologies, an affordable and adequate spectrum must be available. Ravinder Takkar, CEO, Vodafone Idea (Vi), speaking at the Indian Mobile Congress (IMC) 2021, said an adequate and cost-efficient spectrum is required for making the necessary investments in rolling out 5G in India.
Takkar said issues related to the spectrum availability and easy payment terms must be addressed quickly. The investments required for 5G won’t be less. Quoting the data provided by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), Takkar said that the 5G rollout in India would require investments to the tune of $60 to $70 billion.
5G Trials Important Precursor for Successful, Effective 5G Rollouts
All the telecom companies have been conducting trials in different parts of the country. According to Takkar, the 5G trials are an important precursor for ensuring successful and effective 5G rollouts.
Vi’s focus on leveraging new technologies and partnerships has helped the telco become the first in the country to develop a wide range of 5G use cases which includes things such as smart sports streaming, smart auto, smart cities, smart infrastructure, connected schools, gaming, remote healthcare, and drone-based surveillance.
One of the many aims of Vodafone Idea is to bring connectivity to the 400-500 million Indians who are unconnected to the digital world.
Takkar said that India is still a country with only 50% of smartphone penetration. There’s still a long way to go for bringing digital connectivity to every person in the country. India is already one of the largest data consuming country in the world; with further smartphone penetration, the figures should only grow from here.
Takkar also lauded the new reforms announced by the government for the telecom industry. With an affordable 5G spectrum, telcos will be able to keep the 5G rollout costs feasible in the medium to long term.