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Name:      Prachi Rajesh Kumar Agarwal

Are you aware about launch of 5G technology at India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2022 by our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. So, what are we expecting from 5G, Is it just about speed? Is it just about better network? No, it’s also about great affordability. 5G is a new global wireless standard that provides higher speed, lower latency, and great capacity at affordable prices. I got this great opportunity to hear the thoughts of the panellists on the importance of devices in the India 5G story and how it would need the manufacturers, government, and the other stakeholders involved to work in tandem for India’s 5G journey to be an unprecedented success.

In India, approximately 130 crores people use smartphones. Earlier, people were not aware about the importance of smartphones but now people are demanding for ‘More Memory, More Storage’. Over and above the immaterial requirements, Safety and Security of the devices should be prioritized for which the Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC) is already working, as mentioned by Praveen Arora, Vice President IoT at Tata Communications. Now talking about the affordability, Government, OEM’s, platform and service companies will join together to provide affordable Make- In- India devices and facilities. As observed by Mr. Prateek Joshi, Head- Devices, Innovation and 5G at Bharti Airtel, the smartphones upgrade cycle will take time due of which India will have to use refurbished smartphones.

Airtel and Jio have already started their 5G services in select cities where Airtel has entered into agreements with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung. The 5G partnerships follow closely on the heels of spectrum auctions conducted by the Department of Telecom in India, where Airtel bid for and acquired 19867.8 MHZ spectrum in 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 3300 MHz, and 26 GHz frequency. India’s transition into a digital economy will be led by telecom and 5G presents a game-changing opportunity to drive the digital transformation of industries, enterprises and the socio-economic development of India.

To start with, there will be challenges in achieving the affordability in every sector of the economy due to geo- political risks, inflationary pressures, etc. but gradually by exploiting the economies of large scale, India can provide affordable devices with 5G network to enable users do remote things in a more resilient way.

-Prachi Rajesh Kumar Agarwal

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