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5G is here — but a lot needs to be done to feel its full force

5G is here — but a lot needs to be done to feel its full force

5G is here — but a lot needs to be done to feel its full force
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By Vijay Anand  Nov 24, 2022 7:34 PM IST (Published)

5G services can accelerate innovation for all businesses and further amplify Industry 4.0. Reliance Jio and Airtel promise full 5G connectivity in a couple of years. However, let's not celebrate too fast as there are many steps to take yet, Sajan Paul, Managing Director & Country Manager, India & SAARC, at Juniper Networks told CNBC TV18.

The next generation of communications and connectivity, 5G, is upon us. Airtel and Reliance Jio have been gradually rolling out their 5G services across the country over the past few weeks. While we eagerly wait to check out the new network standard, it's a good time to take stock of the situation as it stands right now.

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Reliance Jio has rolled out its Jio True 5G network on an invitation basis in 12 cities, while Airtel is launching its 5G Plus in a more phased manner — eight cities at first and a planned total coverage by 2024. In Jio's case, the company plans to have pan-India 5G connectivity on its standalone network by the end of 2023.
However, let's not celebrate too fast. While it is a matter of pride that India is witnessing a swift rollout of 5G services, it may be a few years yet before we can take full advantage of next-generation connectivity.
Just for context, even countries like the United States, which was among the first to adopt the 5G standard, has struggled to roll out a widespread, sustainable network. Other countries too lead in terms of number of cities covered, but 5G isn't there. Not just yet.
Global 5G coverage. (Image: nPerf)
As per Sajan Paul, Managing Director & Country Manager, India & SAARC, at Juniper Networks, a global network solutions provider, there are many steps that we need to take before we experience the full force of 5G.
"The technology needs nimbler network architecture that is open source, virtualised and disaggregated. To support the tremendous amount of data transfer, India needs to make a solid investment in fibre backhaul. Open networking approaches like O-RAN will play a big role for 5G in India, especially with the emphasis on Make in India," Paul said.
Paul believes India holds the key to unlocking 5G’s benefits for the world.
"5G services have the potential to accelerate innovation for all businesses, and further amplifying industry 4.0. All of which will help supercharge the local economy at scale and create a wealth of benefits for India as a whole," he said.
Paul added that the government and regulators must ensure timely 5G spectrum availability across the world — beyond just looking at fostering growth through funding, incentivising operators, and others in the ecosystem to build infrastructure — so that it can provide a competitive ground for industry to flourish.
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