New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched 5G telephony services in India that promises ultra-high speed internet.
He inaugurated the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2022 exhibition ahead of the formal launch of 5G mobile telephony services.
After inaugurating the exhibition at Pragati Maidan here, he went around pavilions set up by different telecom operators and technology providers to get a first-hand experience of what 5G can do.
He started with Reliance Jio's stalls, where he witnessed the 'True 5G' devices displayed and experienced the use case through Jio Glass.
Flanked by Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and billionaires Mukesh Ambani of Reliance, Sunil Bharti Mittal of Bharti Airtel and Kumar Mangalam Birla of Vodafone Idea, he spent time understanding the indigenous development of end-to-end 5G technology.
He thereafter visited stalls of Airtel, Vodafone Idea, C-DOT and others.
The cumulative economic impact of 5G on India is estimated to reach $450 billion by 2035.
Capable of supporting ultra-high-speed internet, the fifth generation or 5G service is expected to unleash new economic opportunities and societal benefits, serving as a transformational force for Indian society.
The three major telecom operators of the country will demonstrate one use case each in front of the Prime Minister to show the potential of 5G technology in India.
Modi will take a live demo from the dias to monitor the work in real-time through utilising VR and artificial intelligence.
The various use cases that will be demonstrated in front of the Prime Minister in the exhibition include precision drone-based farming; high-security routers and AI-based cyber threat detection platforms; automated guided vehicles; smart ambulances; augmented reality/virtual reality /mix reality in education and skill development; sewage monitoring system; smart-agri programme and health diagnostics, among others.
5G offers speed multiple times faster than 4G, supports lag-free connectivity, and can enable billions of connected devices to share data in real-time.
It will help in providing seamless coverage, high data rate, low latency, and highly reliable communications. Also, it will increase energy efficiency, spectrum efficiency and network efficiency.
5G technology will help in connecting billions of Internet of Things devices, allow higher quality video services with mobility at high speed, delivery of critical services such as telesurgery and autonomous cars, among others.
It will help in real-time monitoring of disasters, precision agriculture, minimising the role of humans in dangerous industrial operations such as in deep mines, offshore activities etc. Unlike existing mobile communication networks, 5G networks will allow tailoring of requirements for each of these different use cases within the same network.
Besides powering ultra-low latency connections, which allow downloading full-length high-quality video or movie to a mobile device in a matter of seconds (even in crowded areas), 5G can enable solutions such as e-health, connected vehicles, more-immersive augmented reality and metaverse experiences, life-saving use cases, and advanced mobile cloud gaming, among others.
"5G can unleash new economic opportunities and societal benefits giving it the potential for being a transformational force for Indian society. It will help the country leapfrog the traditional barriers to development, spur innovations by startups and business enterprises as well as advance the 'Digital India' vision," the official release said.
The launch of 5G services in India, the world's second-biggest smartphone market after China, follows years of intense preparation.
Rs 1.5 lakh crore of bids
India's biggest ever auction of telecom spectrum held recently had received a record Rs 1.5 lakh crore of bids, with Mukesh Ambani's Jio cornering nearly half of all the airwaves sold with a Rs 88,078-crore bid.
Telecom tycoon Sunil Bharti Mittal's Bharti Airtel made a successful bid of Rs 43,084 crore, while Vodafone Idea Ltd bought spectrum for Rs 18,799 crore.
Gautam Adani's group, whose entry in the auction was billed by some as another flashpoint in the rivalry with Ambani, paid Rs 212 crore for 400 MHz. Adani group bought spectrum in the 26 GHz band, which is suitable for setting up a private network for end-to-end communication.
The auction aggregated the demand for a robust 5G ecosystem that can cater to its use cases involving IoT (Internet of Things), M2M (Machine-to-Machine communication), AI (Artificial Intelligence), Edge Computing, and robotics.
The Telecom Department has amended Right of Way (RoW) Rules in August 2022, wherein the charges for permissions to lay cables and set up towers have been made reasonable and a ceiling has been fixed for rates for installation of 5G small cells and optical fibre cable on street furniture.
The Department of Telecom has set up a 5G testbed with the help of IITs, IISc Bengaluru and SAMEER to develop technology in 2018.
A 5G hackathon was commenced in 2020 to trigger ideation and prototyping of use-cases by startups and has led to spurring innovative products, the official release said.
An inter-ministerial committee on 5G use cases has been functioning since 2021, in coordination with 12 central ministries, enabling the setting up of 5G use-case labs. Consultations with industry have been held enabling the 5G ecosystem to make handsets available.
C-DOT is also developing a 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) in collaboration with local industry and startups. It has already tested 4G Core in collaboration with TCS and Tejas Networks successfully.
"All these will help in answering the Prime Minister's clarion call on 'Jai Anusandhan'. All these efforts are game-changers for India's manufacturing and Telecom ecosystem leading to domestic 5G enterprise carrier grade stacks as well as innovative impactful 5G use-cases," the release said.