GOI interested in initiating 5G Spectrum Allocation in 2021

Mr K Ramchand, Advisor to the Department of Telecommunications expressed the Government of India’s interest in initiating the 5G spectrum allocation in 2021

December 28, 2020

5G technology is synonymous with faster internet connectivity and altitude adaptable connection.

Startups, Education, SpaceTech, Agriculture and Energy are among the sectors to be positively impacted.

Global investment in 5G technology is expected to rise to US$ 3.5tn.

Regulatory frameworks, Fibre Optic Networks and Last Mile Connectivity are some mandatory prerequisites.

The Government of India has indicated a willingness to kickstart the 5G spectrum allocation process in 2021 as evidenced by DoT Advisor, Mr K Ramchand’s statement later this year. This move would help accelerate the growth of smart technology and high-end connectivity in the country. The nation is currently equipped with 4G technology which has provided stable connectivity through the pandemic and enabled the general populace to access requisite services whenever required. Facilitating a nationwide upgrade to 5G technology would imply usher in greater internet speed, standardisation of Indian internet connectivity to global paradigms and even round-the clock internet access across all types of geographical localities.

Multiple sectors that are reliant on information technology including the start-up ecosystem, edtech and MSMEs could stand to gain immensely from technology powered sales and quality dissemination of services. A 2019 joint report by Deloitte and CII records that global investment in 5G technology would grow to US$ 3.5tn. The technology will also be expected to make its presence felt in Agriculture, SpaceTech and Energy domains.

The large-scale implementation of 5G technology in India will require an infrastructural overhaul accompanied by the institution of a conducive policy framework. The current telecommunication framework in India is mounted on a radio framework and implementing 5G would require large-scale investments in Fibre Optic Connectivity. Experts also point out that the semiconductor space in India will have to be made more robust in order to support national demand for requisite machinery as Semiconductor Fabricating Units (FABs) are crucial to 5G infrastructure development.

Researcher Shivansh Sharma identifies a direct relationship between the lack of last mile connectivity and higher data tariffs. His report observes that India currently has an average internet speed of 6.5 MBPS as against the required amount of 1TBPS. Furthermore, there is the need to introduce if not involve a regulatory body to outline a framework for the nationwide creation of infrastructure and subsequent deployment of the technology. As conversations surrounding the allocation of 5G spectrum are only in the nascent stages, it will be ideal to initiate the requisite infrastructural preparations so as to prepare the ground for large-scale implementation.