India has the second largest mobile phone subscriber base around the world and has also hopped on the bandwagon for 5G. However, India was a little behind when it came to previous generations of mobile network like 3G, which first rolled out in Japan in 2001 and came to India only in 2008. With 4G the pace was a bit faster. 4G was first launched in 2008, it entered India only in 2012.

 

India has never been a key player in developing or manufacturing telecommunication technology and equipment. So, we can only expect that 5G will be some sort of imported technology, partially or as a whole. So, to climb up the value chain, India must make progress to fill in gaps and build competency in research and development, design and operations around telecom networks. India should think beyond mere importing technologies and work towards providing more economic benefits and generate consumer interest for 5G.

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In 2017, Government of India had formed the High Level 5G India 2020 Forum to build a plan of action for the deployment of 5G in India by 2020. The report by its Steering Committee gave 5 areas that India needs to focus on:

Deployment – An early deployment of 5G services will maximize the value proposition of 5G as a technology.

Technology – To build original home-grown industrial and R&D capacity, especially for design and intellectual property.

Manufacturing – To expand the manufacturing base for 5G technologies, which includes both semiconductor fabrication and equipment assembly and testing.

However, 5G comes with its drawbacks. South Korea and USA, both who have deployed 5G are complaining that it isn’t faster than LTE Network. 5G also poses a risk of a large scale cyber-attack.

We are indeed speeding out the rollout of 5G but we should not forget its consequences. Given that, we should slightly push ourselves in the right direction where we start treating telecommunication as a utility rather than just a market. Our end goal should always be “Developed in India” rather than just “Made in India”.

About Abhinav Khare:

Abhinav Khare is the CEO of Asianet News and hosts a daily show Deep Dive with Abhinav Khare.

He is the proud father of two beautiful daughters. He lives in Bengaluru with his loving family and a lifetime collection of books and gadgets. He is a hands-on Tech Startup professional with an entrepreneurial DNA. He is passionate about policy, technology, economy and the synergy of them all. An avid traveller himself, he has already ticked over a 42 countries and hundred cities around the globe!