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5G rollout in India will be faster

26. 11. 2022 Saturday / By: Robert Denes / Industrial / Exact time: BST / Print this page

A ccording to Amit Marwah, head of marketing and corporate affairs, Nokia India, India will witness the fastest rollout of 5G, which will be at least three times faster than what we saw in 4G.

India is recording the world's fastest 5G rollout and will be the next generation telecom service's biggest success with government support - a senior Nokia India official said.

Speaking at an event organized by the Foreign Correspondents Club on Friday evening, Nokia India's head of marketing and corporate affairs Amit Marwah, without naming China, expressed concern about equipment infiltrating the telecom sector of neighboring countries.

"We are not late, we are at the right time. In the rest of the country compared to other countries where the ecosystem needs to develop. We have a 5G-enabled ecosystem. 10% of smartphones in India are 5G enabled. India will witness the fastest deployment of 5G, which will be at least three times faster than what we saw in 4G,” said Mr. Marwah.

5G services will gradually cover the entire country over the next few years – with Jio promising by December 2023 and Bharti Airtel by March 2024.

Mr. Marwah said telecom manufacturing is gaining strength in India, supported by the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme.

"We were part of PLI 1.0. We were the only company to meet and exceed our PLI 1.0 objective. We let go of that system and let go of the one-year incentive because PLI 2.0 was even more interesting. In India, the volumes and sizes are growing so much that you let it go for a year. We reapplied for PLI f2.0 and we are now part of PLI 2.0, which means we are investing more, adding more lines and more products,” he said.

The PLI scheme offers an incentive of up to 20 times for incremental sales of telecom equipment made in India. The government has given additional incentives to design Indian products in the second version of the PLI scheme.

Mr. Marwah said manufacturing in India is very positive in all sectors, but definitely in telecom.

"Currently, the only challenge is the availability of semiconductor elements. 60-80% of the products we manufacture require semiconductors. This is an area where we still need to work. There is still some kind of infiltration of telecom equipment from neighboring countries that need a bit more vigilance and stop at customs,” said Mr. Marwah.

Ministry of Telecom YGSC Deputy Director General Kishore Babu said: India's 5G deployment and applications are expected to be more diverse than in other countries.

"However, most use cases around the world remind us that innovation may be necessary in the coming months and years to meet most requirements," said Babu.

Tech Mahindra Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Growth Jagdish Mitra said 5G is the biggest technology opportunity for India yet to bridge what we commonly call Bharat and India.

“62% of our workforce is in agriculture and 5G offers us a huge opportunity to turn this into our most profitable segment. We can achieve high returns by creating smarter grids and delivering products to farmers,” said Mr Mitra.

Telecom Sector Skill Council CEO Arvind Bali said that nearly 25 million people will need to be retrained and upskilled in the telecom sector over the next few years as the transition from 4G to 5G takes place.

“We need at least one million technicians and engineers over the next few years specifically trained in 5G courses to meet new job requirements, and we at TSSC are setting up centers of excellence and training labs for the industry. 5G makes great demands on the talented workforce and we are training young people for new age technologies,” said Bali.

He said TSSC will also develop all the curriculum and digital content to train people to meet the requirements of the industry.

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