By 2025 India to join China, U.S. Japan, South Korea and United Kingdom to offer 5G mobile connections

NEW DELHI: Broadband India Forum (BIF) and Policy Impact Partners today announced that it had released a global benchmark analysis of 5G policies and initiatives.

The white paper was released by Minister of Communications, Manoj Sinha at the 5G India 2018 International Conference taking place in Mumbai today.

Broadband India Forum also announced that progressive public-private partnerships between the government and industry can ensure that India joins the list of early adopters of 5G services – nations such as China, USA, UK, Japan and South Korea.

The Global Benchmark Analysis, carried out by Policy Impact Partners, a reputed international consultancy focused on digital and connectivity issues, is a comparative overview of the 5G policies and market development initiatives promoted by the five countries considered to be global leaders in 5G: China, Japan, South Korea (Republic of Korea), the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Releasing the global benchmark analysis, Shri Manoj Sinha, Hon’ble Minister of Communications said, “India has much to gain from rising to the 5G challenge and a tremendous opportunity to accelerate its own ambitions. It can learn from the experiences of early leaders to establish a cohesive 5G roadmap that can help drive the Digital India strategy and enable the country to distinguish itself as a challenger in shaping 5G technologies.

The Government of India has a unique opportunity to leverage the power of 5G to drive forward the Digital India agenda, accelerating economic growth and societal development. Policies and regulation must focus on incentivizing a quantum change in investment and accelerating the deployment and take up of innovative 5G services.”

Aruna Sundararajan, Secretary Telecom, Government of India said, “The global benchmark analysis report by the Broadband India Forum highlights some salient indicators which other leading economies of the world are pursuing. These should help India to take a leaf out of their book to spur a harmonious and accelerated roll-out of 5G services by 2025, in tandem with other leading proponents of this platform. We are committed to India being an early adopter of the 5G platform and to enable this, are committed to working closely with industry and other key stakeholders to ensure that we lay the right foundations of this technology.”

T.V. Ramachandran, President, Broadband India Forum said, “The Global Benchmark Analysis reveals one common factor – that across each of the countries benchmarked, there is strong political commitment to 5G and this translates into institutional mechanisms and collaboration platforms with industry. We’re seeing globally that partnerships are critical to the success of 5G, both between the telecom sector, wider industry and the government. The potential of India to be an early adopter of this technology is second to none.”

He further added, “We are thankful to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Government of India for the support provided to 5G India 2018. 5G is a key thrust area for DoT and it is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that India remain at par with its global peers with regards to the adoption of 5G. DoT has also been actively involved in enabling the 5G demos that have been held by various companies and academic institutes.”

Key Points of the Global Benchmark Analysis of 5G Policies and Initiatives

Momentum towards 5G is building as standards work accelerates and test and trialling activity ramps up. Governments, operators and vendors are striving to lead on 5G in order to achieve a competitive advantage and secure maximum benefits. Commercial roll-outs are expected across all 5G leader markets by 2020, with operators in the U.S. and South Korea targeting 2019 deployments.

By 2025 5G will be a significant part of the connectivity mix with the GSMA forecasting that it will account for 49% of total connections in the U.S. (excluding cellular IoT), 45% in Japan and 25% in China. China, the U.S. and Japan will together host more than 70% of the world’s forecasted 1.2 billion 5G mobile connections.

A successful 5G strategy requires a combination of cost effective infrastructure roll out and the development of business cases that leverage 5G´s superior capabilities. The investment and innovation needed will be driven by industry but, as evidenced in this report, governments and regulators across the 5G leadership countries are playing a key role in setting the right conditions for investment to grow and innovation to thrive.

While licensed operators running cellular infrastructure will be at the heart of 5G connectivity, future networks will rely on a combination of Satellite, Wi-Fi and High Altitude Platform Systems (HAPS) especially in the Indian context. Each technology will bring key attributes to the delivery of ubiquitous 5G services.

This global benchmark analysis also pointed to a number of key policy considerations that are consistently prioritised by countries headed the 5G way. Broadband India Foundation believes that India needs to benchmark against these efforts, repeat best practice where it can, and prioritise the following actions:

Complement the Digital India and Make in India initiatives through a sustained cross-departmental, cross-sector strategy to ensure the country seizes its 5G opportunity.
Develop a 5G roadmap with targets and milestones to provide the necessary political focus and help mobilise the requisite resources.

Act as a catalyst for, and an early adopter of, 5G in areas such as health, transport, and the full range of public services that underpin smart communities.

Make more harmonised spectrum available at both high and low frequencies, and award it in ways that target long-term growth, investment and citizen welfare, rather than short-term revenue maximisation.

Clear spectrum for exclusive use where timely clearing is possible but otherwise explore options for dynamic sharing.

Maximise spectrum output by ensuring licences are of adequate length and carry clear renewal criteria, and that spectrum fees are limited with a view to promote innovation and economic development and for ensuring efficient and effective use.

Make spectrum available on a technology neutral basis, and provide the right balance of licensed and license-exempt solutions. For example, in high frequency spectrum it is critical for India to make the V-band (57-64 GHz) available for unlicensed use for indoor applications along with a mix of unlicensed and light-licensed usage for outdoor applications as a complement to licensed 5G bands.

Reduce obstacles to 5G deployment including high costs and administrative delays in accessing cell sites or fibre ducts, and locally imposed, overly restrictive EMF limits.

Ensure the regulatory framework provides the necessary certainty and predictability for investors, and refocus regulation and competition policy on delivering high performance markets for consumers long-term benefit.

Enable the quality differentiation made possible through 5G by allowing network operators to manage their networks optimally and to innovate in the provision of services that meet specific use case and end user requirements.

Develop an overarching testbed and trials programme as a key driver for building India’s 5G ecosystem, and ensure accelerated spectrum availability for testing purposes.

Recognise that many different technologies will need to come together to ensure delivery of the full range of 5G capabilities and ensure all technologies can compete and fulfil their potential in contributing to the 5G mix.

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