Davos 2023: India’s 5G rollout story is fascinating to the world. With auctions commencing in August 2022 and the 5G service rollout commencing in October of the same year, India’s rollout plan is being noticed by the world.
Erik Ekudden, Chief Technology Officer of Ericsson, in conversation with Business Today's Managing Editor, Siddharth Zarabi, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, said, “India is a good example where the rollout pace, the speed of which the networks will be upgraded to 5G is unprecedented. In fact, India is now getting into a state which I would say it's impressive when it comes to just starting to roll out 5G, and it will be a leading 5G market very soon.”
India is taking the learnings from before, using the latest technology, and making sure that the latest gear is used, which not just gives better economics but also better performance, better user experience, high bitrate, and lower latency.
Speaking of India’s 5G rollout versus global rollout, Erik Ekudden said “What we are witnessing is a very fast rollout, much faster than we have seen in other parts of the world. And of course, that's to the benefit of both enterprises, consumers, and society at large."
"If you would like to have a technology that's pervasive that can allow for the digitalisation of sector after sector, whether it's more advanced manufacturing or it’s education, remote health or any of those societal needs that you want to fulfill. Having coverage everywhere is critically important, and India has stepped up in terms of rollout plan."
5G is being deployed globally since 2019. As the 5G subscriptions surpassed 1 billion in the last year or two, Erik Ekudden expects this number to cross 5 billion 5G subscriptions in another five years.
He said: "Some regions are a little bit ahead in terms of population coverage, some have even reached 90-95% …like the earlier mature markets. But I think many are coming along now. So we see 5G becoming the consumer technology but also very much the enterprise technology. I think that's where the excitement comes from now that we can start to collaborate across society.”
Ekudden also stated that the rollout of the 5G network is resilient to events like the recession. There could be a pacing effect that can slow down to some extent the rollout pace and then pick up when through the downturn. But in general, investments in mobile infrastructure are very resilient.
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