26 Feb 5G to unlock the transformative power of networks, says Trai chief
The deployment of fifth-generation or 5G together with futuristic technologies would help in unlocking the transformative power of digital networks, a top regulatory official said.
“Implementation of 5G and associated technologies will help unlock the transformative power of digital communication networks and enable us to achieve the digital empowerment goal and improve the well-being of the people,” Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman PD Vaghela said.
Vaghela was delivering a keynote address at the 5G Congress – 2021, organised by ETTelecom.
The government, according to him, has been working hard to ensure that the country benefits by launching 5G services in a timely manner, and it has already taken multiple steps such as the unveiling the National Digital Communication Policy (NDCP) – 2018 to boost the implementation of technologies such as the 5G, Internet of Things (IoT) and Machine to Machine (M2M) communication.
The national policy aims to bring in more than $100 billion worth of investments and to generate over 4 million jobs in the telecom sector by 2022 but, however, the industry blames that slow progress is made further in implementing the policy roadmap.
Vaghela said that 5G has the potential to provide seamless coverage, low latency, and highly reliable communications, and it would increase energy, spectrum, and network efficiencies.
During the pandemic era period there has been an increasing number of broadband subscriptions, he said.
The broadband subscription has increased from 644 million in October 2019 to 734 million in October 2020 while data uptake has also increased from 6.3 exabytes in September 2019 to 8.70 exabytes in September 2020.
India has the largest mobile data users in the world as of December 2020. There are close to 1.1 billion mobile connections and the average data usage per subscriber is 12 gigabytes per month, according to the telecom regulator.
“5G technology is designed to deliver a superior experience and set to unlock new exciting and transformative possibilities due to certain technology developments such as network function virtualization, this means putting network elements on the cloud,” Vaghela said.
Putting network components on the cloud, according to him, would further improve the functioning of telecom networks.
In India, 5G is predicted to create a cumulative economic impact of $1 trillion by 2035.
“In India, about 30% of sites are connected on fiber and rest are on microwave links and there are certain challenges which we are handling,” he added.
Vaghela further said that the E-band (71 to 76 Gigahertz) paired with 81 to 86 Gigahertz, is an important band, and could be used for providing rapid and economic deployment of backhaul in dense urban routes.
“For the operation of wireless services, Trai has already recommended for an early opening of these two bands, and enabling policies such as the right-of-way (RoW) rules,” the regulator added.
Only 16 states and union territories adhere to Centrally-designated RoW norms unveiled in November 2016.
However, faster RoW permissions should be worked upon, according to him.
“The efforts have been made for the practical implementation of these policies. All states, local bodies, and various authorities will be required to work in tandem to improve ease of doing business in this regard,” he added.
The two-day long mega virtual event witnessed participation from top industry leaders, and government and regulatory officials.