5G network deployment lacks infra for support

5G Network
5G network deployment lacks infra for support

Roll out can take place in only limited places as the optical fibre base infrastructure to support 5G network is available only in selected areas

5G network can be deployed in India within three months but in limited areas because the optical fibre based infrastructure that is needed to support the 5G network technology is not ready yet, telecom industry players said on Tuesday.

India has to take a call on deployment of 5G network services otherwise the country will miss to take advantage of the next generation technology that it can bring for the economy, said Amit Marwah, head of marketing and corporate affairs at Nokia India.

“If we do not enable 5G very soon, we might be potentially missing the bus. 5G is not a sales channel for the operators to make money. It is the need of the hour in order to create new economic value in India and the world. We are manufacturing 5G in India. The hardware is ready. If it happens, in three months we can start deploying 5G network in India”, said Marwah.

Nokia, from its Chennai plant, is also exporting 5G equipment to other parts of the world and is evaluating the production linked incentive (PLI) scheme for participation in it, he said.

Sandeep Aggarwal, chairman at Telecom Export Promotion Council pushed for using gears manufactured locally and the control should be with India for security purposes.

Roll out can take place in only limited places as the optical fibre base infrastructure to support 5G network is available only in selected areas, he said.

Because of the high rate of interest on finance, the cost of developing 5G network technology in India is high while China has given out around $200 billion to its local companies to develop new technologies, said Aggarwal.

Every country has the right to decide on what is right for them to ensure resilience in business as Covid-19 pandemic was a wakeup call for all the countries, said Jagdish Mitra, chief strategy officer at Nasscom executive council member and Tech Mahindra.

Mitra said, “The opportunity is tremendous for the market here in India and that cannot be ignored, it will attract people to come to India, come and leverage the talent, make in India, sell and export from India to the world and make it a hub for some of their R&D. We don’t just need it to be only skill-based, but a place where you are creating and innovating. The mind-set needs to change and welcome people to come and do more”.

A country cannot make entire 5G network technology but need to take support from others also, said Telecom Sector Skill Council Arvind Bali.

He said that the PLI scheme is the right step for making India self-reliant and creating huge employment. “Now with PLI in telecom hardware, we estimate it will create one million jobs in a very short period of time. And in these segments, we were skilling around 15 lakh people and now we expect we will skill around 50 lakh in a period of 2 years”, said Bali.

Electronics Sector Skill Council Chairman and HCL co-founder Ajai Chowdhry said the country also needs to look at creating a component ecosystem specially semiconductors to make India self-reliant.

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