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The future for 5G in India

The India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2018, a 3-day event which provided insight into the future of digital communications, discussed the future of 5G in India.

As reported earlier, the theme IMC 2018 was “New Digital Horizons. Connect. Create. Innovate.”.

According to a press statement released by the Ministry of Communications, this year’s IMC brought together the largest congregation of global professionals from the digital ecosystem. The event also discussed areas of the Internet of Things (IoT), AI, Smart Cities, Start-ups, specifically in the technology space and allied industry sectors.

The event was noteworthy for some very remarkable announcements which clearly established the direction of the Indian digital communications industry over the next several years. The Government of India announced the commitment of the industry to roll-out one million WiFi hotspots in the country by December 2019.

The National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP) 2018 was also unveiled at the event. NFAP 2018 will free up a total of 605 MHz spectrum in the 5-GHz band for Wi-Fi services. Several spectrum bands for short-range devices and ultra-wideband devices have been made license-exempt, benefitting the public as well as industry.

Last year, the government developed a High-Level 5G India 2020 Forum that brought together officials, industry experts, and academicians. It was aimed at bringing early deployment of 5G in the country, with commercial roll-out sometime in 2020.

India is at the cusp of the next generation of wireless technology, which is the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications. 5G performance targets comprise of high data rate, energy saving, cost reduction, and higher system capacity among others.

5G has been recognised as a foundation for expanding the potential of a completely networked society.

The economic benefits from the 5G technology are far-reaching. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) committee on Digital Economic Policy, stated that 5G technologies will help increase the country’s GDP, will generate employment and digitise the economy.

For India, 5G provides an opportunity for the industry to reach out to global markets, and consumers to gain with the economies of scale.

The IMC this year saw a greater international presence with the participation of policymakers and regulators from partner countries in the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) regions.

Delegations from 20 countries and more than 5,0000 participants attended the IMC 2018 conference and exhibition. Over 300 countries showcased their latest and best technologies, products, services, and applications.

Several exhibition stalls were set up by these companies. The stalls covered a variety of interesting possibilities, related to IoT, augmented and virtual reality, AI, robotics, Smart City solutions, fintech, health-tech, autonomous cars, and cybersecurity, among others.

The release noted an interesting feature of the event was the attention on the critical Start-ups ecosystem.

More than 200 start-ups marked their presence at the event. Their booths displayed ideas and innovations with the intent to leverage the potential of digital communications to meet ever-changing consumer needs.

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