By the end of 2027, 5G is projected to cover 40% of mobile subscriptions in India, which means 500 million users

New Delhi: On 26 July, the Department of Telecom started an auction of 5G spectrum. The electromagnetic spectrum is one of the most valuable resources in digital telecommunications. Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea and newcomer Adani Data Networks are in the race to purchase the available 72 GHz (gigahertz) of 5G airwaves, worth around Rs 4.3 lakh crore.

After five rounds of bidding, Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that good competition was seen among the firms to clinch all the bands on offer. According to experts, 5G services will be rolled out in a few months. “First it will target the cities and then 5G will move to the rest of the country,” said Manish Rawat, Market Analyst with Strategy Analytics. Market experts also think that recurring issues like network congestion will be solved after the complete rollout of the 5G network. “Shortly, mobile devices will be transformed and a faster, seamless system will be integrated to allow instantaneous communication. It has been a real problem in India for years to deal with network congestion, but with 5G, this may be solved,” said Rawat.

Analysts are hopeful of 5G technology’s prospects. According to a report by Swedish telecom giant Ericsson, by the end of 2027, 5G is projected to cover 40% of mobile subscriptions in India, which means 500 million users. On an average, these users will consume 50 GB of data a month.

The lab study by the telcos has found that there is significant consumer interest in adopting 5G in India. “Forty million smartphone users could take up 5G in its first year of availability,” reads the report. 5G will also enable service providers to launch new services for consumers, including home broadband (5G FWA), enhanced video, multiplayer mobile gaming, and AR/VR services. Consumers anticipate that service providers will offer pricing plans with service bundling and data sharing. “It is expected that 5G will spark a new wave of entrepreneurial and innovative activity. 5G will make this clear very quickly, but we’ll find out sooner rather than later. There will be a significant inflexion point when commercial availability becomes possible,” said an expert.

There were some limitations in the 4G network, which next-generation 5G will eradicate. In 4G, 10,000 people per square kilometre can be connected, but 5G will be able to connect more than 2 million people in one square kilometre. “5G can be responsible for making intelligence hardware which can be used in healthcare, robotics, defence etc. The most important feature that 5G can give is remote medical surgery which can be predominantly used in rural areas and India has had such an issue for a long time” reads a report by the International Journal of Engineering Research & Technology.

5G is not only a game changer for India, but the whole world will benefit from this technology. According to estimates published in an Informa Tech research paper, 5G technology could be responsible for 22.3 million jobs and $13.2 trillion of global economic output by 2035. South Korea, China, and the United States are leading the race for 5G deployment. But some other parts of the world are still working on the deployment of the next-gen technology. “5G has not yet been released in every part of the world. To remain competitive, countries are adopting 5G technology, which has resulted in different strategies, such as most of the global networks are being built using the mid-5G band. The US has used a mix of the three bands, and countries in Asia have opted for a mid-band technology, while some countries are switching to 4G so they can use the free spectrum,” said Manish Rawat. There has been a lengthy implementation process in some countries—more than two years. It might take a few years for all the implementations to be completed in India, but 5G promises a bright future.