With most telcos having deployed 4G mobile telephony on their networks, these firms are now venturing into the fifth generation technology, or 5G. This was evident from the various stalls by telcos, equipment manufacturers and infrastructure firms at the India Mobile Congress on Wednesday.
While operators such as Bharti Airtel showcased the deployment of Massive MIMO, or massive multiple-input multiple-output technology on its networks in Bengaluru and Kolkata, equipment makers like ZTE and Huawei demonstrated their 5G capabilities. Domestic players like Sterlite Technologies presented the locally developed 5G solution, which an executive said was being piloted in a few countries.
For older technologies such as 2G, 3G, and 4G, India was behind the world in terms of adoption. However, for 5G, the industry and the government believe that the country is poised to be at par with the world in its adoption. “India will no longer be behind the curve in terms of technology but instead be head-to-head with the globe. So as 5G starts to develop globally, India is keeping a very close track. All of us players in the marketplace will ensure that India is rewarded with the latest technology for the benefit of the society,” Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said.
“5G will become the plug and play for a new digital connectivity and services platform, which can do healthcare, vocational education, and e-governance, with a few of them in each taluka,” Reliance Jio president Mathew Oommen said.
Huawei India CEO Jay Chen told The Indian Express that right now operators were looking at deploying technologies, such as the Massive MIMO, through which they can rehaul their network. “The beauty of 5G is that it won’t be limited to voice and data, but will be utilised across verticals. Field trials are going on globally to see how much speed we can get…,” Chen said.