As per current framework, Mumbai-based TCS, a system integrator, can set up captive 5G network for enterprises but cannot become a licensee or own spectrum
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) would help companies and organisations across sectors to set up their private or non-public 5G (fifth generation)-backed networks to accelerate transformation, the Tata Group Company said in a statement.
“As a technology company and a system integrator (SI), we will work with our clients across the verticals and help them in adopting 5G led growth and transformation of their business including help setting up of their private 5G networks in their campuses or factories,” N Ganapathy Subramaniam, chief operating officer, TCS told ETTelecom.
As per current framework, Mumbai-based TCS, a system integrator, can set up captive 5G network for enterprises but cannot become a licensee or own spectrum.
For the creation of a dedicated local area network (LAN) within a specific premise or business facility, a private or captive network is an extension to a wireless technology for seamless connectivity needs and is restricted to offer services outside.
Following the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) recommendations, in a recent move by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), a company that wants to set up a non-public network for its captive or limited use can lease out airwaves from a telecom service provider or directly purchase from the government.
Adani Data Networks, owned by Asia’s richest industrialist Gautam Adani, in a recent spectrum sale, acquired 400 MHz in the millimeter wave (26 GHz) spectrum band at INR 212 crore, becoming the first entity to purchase spectrum to put up exclusive captive 5G network across multiple business locations.
However, the diversified conglomerate, to deploy its enterprise-wide network, is expected to partner with a technology or gear vendor.
“The move by the government on private networks is a step in the right direction. This will certainly accelerate the digital adoption across enterprises,” Subramaniam said, adding that companies could truly adopt next practices in making their manufacturing, logistics, anchoring or participating ecosystems to be truly digital which in turn would make them competitive.
Currently, the TCS-backed consortium is also deploying a 4G network for state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) that can be upgraded to 5G next year.
The telecom department (DoT), on the back of the sector regulator’s suggestion on demand studies for the direct spectrum assignment, has also recently invited applications from enterprises that have a net worth of more than INR 100 crore, and are willing to set up captive networks. An application window between 10 August and 09 September has been opened up by the department.
For the allotment of spectrum to enterprises willing to connect their facilities, the new norms allow the department to only put a processing fee of INR 50,000.
Meanwhile, to set up their non-public 5G networks citing a loss to their potential business and frequency interference, the move has pitted the telecom carriers against technology players and system integrators with the former arguing against offering flexibility to enterprises.
Recently, the Delhi-based Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) said that in the wake of low average revenue per user (ARPU), service providers could not merely rely on consumer business for next generation services.
GSMA, a London-based telco group, said that potentially valuable frequency bands kept aside for private 5G networks would remain underemployed, and could hit spectrum availability and affordability for the public 5G telecom services.
The telecom service operators expect to grow their 5G-led enterprise business, and pin hopes on a variety of enterprise-wide use cases so that it could further lead to up their revenue.
Verizon, a New York-based telecom carrier recently said that 5G private networks would bring economic benefits to Indian enterprises, and also expressed its willingness to put up captive networks for companies.
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