The buzz around 5G has been growing of late. Several Indian telcos have started deploying Massive MIMO (Mobile Input Mobile Output) technology that is a key enabler for 5G networks. And now, Ericsson that recently held a demo of 5G technology, says that India is in line with any developed market to usher in a 5G revolution by 2020. “We can see Indian government taking steps in making spectrum available. If that becomes available, then, of course, there’s an opportunity to also deploy 5G earlier, like 2020,” Ericsson CTO Erik Ekudden told ET.
Ekudden is possibly right given the government has already formed a committee, and set up a Rs 500-crore fund to execute the countrywide rollout of 5G by 2020. The government’s ambitious Digital India program would be further enabled by 5G, says Ericsson. It reckons that certain industries would be early adopters of the technology as they wouldn’t needing a pan-India network for it. 5G technology will enable a $27.3 billion revenue potential for Indian telcos by 2026, a recent Ericsson study revealed. “We expect 40 percent additional revenue for telecom operators,” Ekudden said. ALSO READ: The buzz is great, but 5G on Indian phones is still a distant dream
Ericsson last week showcased the first-ever live 5G end-to-end demonstration in India, using its 5G test bed and 5G New Radio (NR) delivered a throughput of 5.7 Gbps and ultra-low latency of 3 milliseconds. The demo also featured 5G use cases and essential technologies that will drive the transformation from 3G/4G to 5G. These included Gigabit LTE (1 GBPS download speeds) with License Assisted Access (LAA) technology. LAA technology helps leverage wireless network resources using higher frequency bands on a small cell architecture. ALSO READ: Huawei aims to make India 5G-ready, aims to invest $600 million by 2018
Ericsson also said that it is in talks with some Indian telcos for the deployment of massive MIMO and 5G plug-ins. It has already signed a MoU around the 5G technology with leading telco Airtel. It is similar to the 36 MoUs Ericsson has in place with global telcos. It allows Ericsson to conduct trials of 5G technology within the networks of these telcos. “The migration from 4G to 5G will be smoother in India than in the other markets where 4G network is not so well rolled out,” Ekudden added.