The telecom sector is a barometer of the health of the global economy. Notwithstanding the volatility and uncertainties of the post pandemic era, the telecom industry continues to lead the way in striving to create the future of our aspirations. Telecom technology companies are working on changing several paradigms when it comes to connecting and doing business. On the eve of World Telecom Day and a few weeks away from 5G spectrum auctions, we in India are poised for a major socio-economic transformation enabled by 5G network technology.
Even as we leapfrog into 5G, it is hard to ignore the fact that billions across the world are still unconnected and are thereby unable to influence policies and actions that impact their lives. The need for digital inclusion, affordable and sustainable connectivity solutions remains as high as ever. As per UN estimates, over 3 billion people are not using internet at home or over their phones.
I firmly believe that India has a pivotal role to play in the evolution of 5G, 5G Advanced and further paving the road to 6G. We have the competencies, technology, scale and wide variety of use cases to explore every possibility of customer application. The intersection of smart computing, efficient next-gen technology and systems will yield affordable ways to bridge the digital divide. We stand together with the Government, regulators, service providers, enterprise customers and consumer groups in this endeavour. This is a time to create an ecosystem to harvest infinite possibilities.
5G technology brings an exponential improvement over previous generations and supports many more devices, meet the increased data demands in high-density areas such as mass transport hubs, and Internet of Things devices with ultra-low latency. Also, 5G’s peak capacity is measured in gigabits, not megabits. Therefore, it is a quantum leap in more ways than one. 5G is gaining momentum around the world and is projected to contribute up to one percent of global GDP, or US$ 1.3 Trillion in revenue by 2030.
According to GlobalData, the total number of mobile 5G subscriptions will reach 4.1 billion globally, equivalent to 37.1% of total mobile subscriptions worldwide by 2026. 5G services will generate 644.6 billion dollars, equivalent to 64.0% of total mobile service revenue worldwide.
5G will be crucial in addressing the increasing connectivity demands and easing pressure on congested 4G networks. It will drive fresh impetus around enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and consumption of 4k-8k video, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Real Time Gaming, Edge computing, Telemedicine etc.
It is inspiring to imagine what high speed, high density connectivity can do for industry and society.
The potential benefits of 5G for the industry are game-changing. As we pursue Make In India and the goal of achieving a 5 trillion dollar economy, industrial grade private wireless solutions can digitally transform and modernize manufacturing facilities by enabling remote operations, real time tracking through drones, autonomous intelligent vehicles and telepresence robots, smart material management and quality assurance through video analytics. In addition, 5G solutions offer use of automation and embedded intelligence to build smart cities and attain sustainability targets.
We live in a world where technology is making it possible to connect anyone, anywhere and anytime. 5G will impact every sector – auto, housing, agriculture, energy, manufacturing and distribution, emergency services, mining etc. but also academics. For example, the World Bank is supporting national colleges in the Eastern Caribbean to become education pioneers by embracing the metaverse.
In the spirit of digital inclusion, the theme for World Telecom Day this year is Digital Technologies for older persons and healthy ageing.
The elderly and ageing need intimate and round the clock monitoring and support. Our geriatric population, often left alone in small towns and villages, is faced with numerous challenges. The applications of 5G for healthcare can enable better and faster diagnosis, advice and delivery of therapies and medicine. Imagine using the same technology to enhance livelihoods and financially empower rural India. The possibilities are infinite and there wasn’t a better time to harness and harvest the benefits of 5G!
By — Sanjay Mallik, Senior Vice President and Head, Nokia India