Ericsson readying for 5G rollout in India

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Swedish telecom gear-maker, Ericsson, is readying itself for 5G in India.

Image for representational purpose only

The 5th generation mobile networks are the proposed next-gen telecom systems that aims at higher capacity (than 4G). It allows higher density of mobile broadband users, supports device-to-device and machine-to-machine communications, including Internet-of-Things.

The Centre is aiming for deployment of 5G services for consumers by 2020 and Ericsson expects to be ready “from the technology perspective” by then.

The global telecom maker, which showcased the first-ever live 5G end-to-end demonstration in the country using its 5G test bed and 5G New Radio, is looking to engage with industry players and develop India-specific applications.

Pacts with Airtel, IIT-Delhi

According to Nitin Bansal, Managing Director, India, Ericsson has already signed an MoU with Bharti Airtel and also with IIT-Delhi.

While Ericsson, by partnering Bharti Airtel, will create a strategic roadmap for evolution to 5G technology; it will set up an incubation centre with a test bed for development of 5G ecosystems at IIT-Delhi. The equipment are expected to be in place between April and June.

Globally, the company has signed 38 5G operator agreements.

“There are a lot of global projects that we are doing with academia and industry to understand how this can be used and monetised. We are already engaging and will continue to do so with industry players; so that we can work together for India… And we are open for more,” he told BusinessLine.

Ericsson has invested about $4 billion towards R&D in 2016. And, has recently raised $370 million to invest in 5G research – that include further developing of 5G and other mobile innovations.

Opportunity for 5G

According to reports, the average data usage in India was estimated to grow from 3.9 GB per month per smartphone by end-2017 and, reach 18 GB per month per smartphone in 2023.

Growth in LTE subscriptions, increasing smartphone penetration and demand for data-intensive applications like video will drive usage.

As Bansal maintains, 5G has the potential to enable a $27.3-billion revenue opportunity for Indian telcos by 2026.

But 5G will also open up new revenue streams for operators.

“There are large opportunities in sectors like manufacturing, energy and utilities followed by public safety and health sectors. This will be over and above the revenue generated from traditional services, which is expected to grow up to $63 billion by 2026,” he said.

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