5G prospects compelling for India; affordable spectrum can spur growth: Qualcomm

India has a big market that needs to upgrade and set up for 5G offtake, and the government and policy makers can trigger growth of the telecom space by releasing spectrum, including 5G, in adequate quantity and at affordable prices, a senior official of Qualcomm has said.

5G would positively impact India’s telecom market, the second largest in the world and “still growing”, as increased data consumption and heightened adoption of technology due to the pandemic has prepared the market for the advent of next-generation technology, said Rajen Vagadia, VP and President, Qualcomm India and SAARC.

“The case for the immediate rollout of 5G networks in India is a compelling one. It is no longer a choice, but a pre-requisite for the country’s growth and development,” Vagadia told .

Indian regulators will have a big role to play in ensuring that 5G in India is deployed to its “full potential”.

As the world’s second largest telecom market, India holds huge promise for growth, Vagadia said.

“The government and policy makers can trigger growth of the Indian telecom market by releasing spectrum, including 5G, in adequate quantity and at affordable prices,” he said in an email interview.

Since networks are congested, it is “prudent” to make the spectrum across all bands including mmW (millimetre wave) available for immediate deployment, starting with trials, he said.

5G will completely redefine mobile experiences and enable generations to benefit from it, the company said.

Tech titan, Qualcomm, is a wireless technology innovator and fuelling the development, launch and expansion of 5G.

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“We are driving conversations at all levels of the ecosystem to catalyse the commercial reality of 5G in the country — from telco, education, healthcare, automotive, medicine to manufacturing,” Vagadia said.

India has a big market that needs to upgrade and set up for 5G growth, he pointing out.

“We expect a longer-term trial followed by circle level rollout towards the end of next year before a national rollout of services,” he pointed out.

Unlike previous generation technologies, 5G is expected to embrace and support specialised use cases in sectors like manufacturing, energy, utilities, healthcare, pharmaceutical, transportation and logistics. To support the connectivity needs for the next decade, 5G will play a “much bigger role” than previous generations of technology, spanning multiple industries and verticals.

“That says it all, in terms of the opportunities that India has, from leveraging 5G,” Vagadia said.

Qualcomm is already working with several partners in India and around the world to enhance technology inventions in 5G.

In fact, last month, Jio Platforms and Qualcomm announced they have successfully tested 5G solutions, and clocked ultra high speeds of 1 gbps, in trials.

Qualcomm and Reliance Jio, India’s largest telecom operator, said they have aligned efforts on 5G, in order to fast-track development and rollout of indigenous network infrastructure and services in India.

Earlier this year, Reliance Industries (RIL) announced that Qualcomm Ventures will pick up 0.15 per cent stake in Jio Platforms for Rs 730 crore.

The latest progress on the 5G product portfolio neatly dovetails into Jio’s overall plans to develop homegrown 5G telecom solutions, as was outlined by RIL Chairman Mukesh Ambani during the company’s annual general meeting in July this year.

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RIL had earlier said Qualcomm Ventures’ investment would deepen the ties between Qualcomm and Jio Platforms to support the latter on its journey to roll out advanced 5G infrastructure and services for Indian customers.



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