New Delhi: 2022 will catapult the telecom industry to next generation services 5G.
Though the spectrum auction is expected to happen in the second half of this year, the buzz around 5G has gained momentum over the last few months.
As per department of telecommunications, 5G telecom services are set to be rolled out in selected cities in India in 2022. Leading telecom service providers Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea, are conducting 5G trials.
As the country prepares to move towards 5G, India’s mobile operators may resort to another price hike next year after recently raising tariffs by 20-25%.
While 5G services will allow telecom players to generate additional revenue streams especially from the enterprise and digital services segment, it is widely expected to come at a huge cost. The biggest chunk of the additional costs will be the price of airwaves companies will have to pay in an auction.
The cost pressure, coupled with more headroom in a market that still has one of the world’s cheapest mobile data plans, will lead telcos to increase prices further, analysts say. Any increase, however, will likely happen towards the end of next year.
To prepare for 5G well in advance, the department of telecommunications (DoT) is considering using ‘street furniture’ to densely deploy 5G telecom infrastructure to overcome right-of-way (RoW) challenges following a proposal from a state electricity board.
The new committee under the department is looking at the viability and the quantum of state-owned infrastructure for making it available for 5G small cells deployment. Early this month, the Kerala State Electricity Board (KESB) submitted a proposal to the telecom department to utilise existing statewide electric poles.
Moving on to 6G, telcos Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea said an early start into local 6G development will result in IP or intellectual property creation for the Indian telecom ecosystem.
There is a need for the Indian telecom industry and academia to join forces with the telecom department and contribute towards the 6G standard building in cooperation with 3GPP. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) recently formed a 6G technology innovation group to create a roadmap for research and development (R&D) and also an action plan for the technology.
Largest telecom player Reliance Jio plans to raise up to Rs 8,000 crore by selling corporate bonds in the local market as early as next week as it intends to clear a portion of its past dues for purchasing spectrum in the 2014 and 2015 auctions. Jio is in talks with a group of lenders, including Axis Bank, ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and State Bank of India, for the five-year series that aim to raise up to Rs 5,000 crore.
In a major development this week, Apple placed Foxconn’s Sriperumbudur facility on probation, following recent concerns about food safety and accommodation conditions at the location, which means it won’t be giving new orders to the facility in India. The iPhone maker said it has dispatched independent auditors to undertake additional detailed assessments.
Foxconn Technology Group, the world’s and India’s largest contract manufacturer, said in a separate statement, that it was restructuring its local management team and management systems to ensure it can achieve and maintain the high standards that are needed.