With the global launch of 5G set to arrive in the next two to three plus years, depending on the development of the country, telecom operators are eagerly awaiting the new revenue-generating next generation communications services this technology will offer. Two telecom companies in India, Airtel (News - Alert) and BSNL, are preparing for the arrival by working with Nokia to transform existing networks to 5G in a preparatory phase as both companies address their 5G strategies.
With affordable smartphones flooding the Indian market, and telecom operators deploying the infrastructure needed for 5G services, by the time Airtel and BSNL (News - Alert) as well as other operators are ready everyone will be on the same page. This is a very important component of the overall strategy, because currently only one fourth of the Indian mobile customer base has smartphones.
Nokia (News - Alert) signed a memorandum of understandings (MoUs) with both companies, and Sanjay Malik, head of India market at Nokia said, "Thoughts behind these MoUs would be to introduce 5G here, and what are the steps required for the same, besides identifying applications to define the target segment, which will lead to a complete 5G strategy for telcos," as reported by the ET.
Trials for 5G are set to begin in 2018 for India, and the country is also in the process of auctioning spectrum in bands over 3,000 MHz to ensure the smooth transition to 5G from previous generation networks. Once in place operators can provide next generation communications services, including VR, augmented reality, Internet of Things (IoT), remote healthcare monitoring and more.
The customer base for BSNL stands at 94.36 million cellular and1.02 million WLL, along with 13.88 million wireline phone subscribers. As for Airtel, it had an impressive customer base of 369 million subscribers across its operations at the end of February 2017. These are very big companies with a large customer base that will be able to give their customer next generation communications services with 5G in the coming years.
Nokia has already demonstrated 5G networks, proving it is a reality beyond laboratory prototypes for a wide range of use cases. This includes dynamic networks serving a multi-connected world. According to Nokia and its Bell Labs (News - Alert) Consulting, once there is full deployment it will provide ubiquitous connectivity for 46 billion connected devices serving the virtual reality needs of users as well as their augmented real-world. The applications of 5G will also extend to autonomous cars, industrial automation and remote robotics, smart cities and personal healthcare.
Edited by Alicia Young