Prime Minister Narendra Modi will launch 5G services in India during the inauguration of the Indian Mobile Congress in Delhi on Saturday morning.
Telecom consultant Sanjay Kapoor earlier told CNBC-TV18 that monetisation has been an issue for many service providers that have rolled out 5G overseas. He further said India needs good technology for enterprise-like solutions on IoT and concepts like driverless cars.
5G is a tech jump over 2G and a new ecosystem expansion will happen through this spectrum. "The world is struggling with use cases and 5G will only unfurl over time. It is also quite expensive as compared to 4G," Kapoor said, “I don’t see any returns coming in, despite cash flow reliefs by the government. As networks go into the cloud, this opens a canvas for parts of the pie and that is where infra guys, Adani and IT guys come in — for B2C selling.”
Everybody believes that 5G will reset the meter but the truth is that there are going to be both hits and tries. The final model is where the customers will pay more money or everybody will keep fighting for a slice of the pie and nobody will make money.
He also added, “The initial focus will be on big cities, reaching about a million towers. It could replace fibre but the infrastructure will be required for that.”
According to former Telecom Secretary R Chandrashekhar, 5G will bring rural coverage and long-distance coverage from a single point in the spectrum. "The challenge is to invest in newer generations. The distinct difference in service quality will decide if higher-end customers will be ready to pay a premium, that is when the 5G spectrum will become a business case," he said.
He also added, “It is not going to be uniform across India. We will see what kind of use cases we can get and if the audience is willing to pay the premium price. More on the spectrum will be picked up over time."
Prashant Singhal from EY Global said that the category circles will vary and 5G will have a vital role in mobile broadband connectivity. "5G has not contributed to any global market. It is more of a defence strategy for operators. The rollout and expansion of 5G will happen over time," he said.
Peeyush Vaish from Deloitte India speculates that the market is going to be predominantly B2C and a lot of products will emerge, which will push operators. He also agrees with the theory that making money out of the spectrum will be difficult.
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