PM Modi launches '100 times faster' 5G services in India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi rolled out 5G cellular network services for key cities in India on Saturday at the sixth edition of Indian Mobile Congress in Pragati Maidan, Delhi. The service is expected to cover the entire country soon. A Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA) report said that by 2030, the share of 2G and 3G connections will fall below 10%.
Why does this story matter?
During his Independence Day speech, PM Modi had said that India would get 5G sooner than expected. In this year's Budget presentation, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had announced that spectrum auctions will be carried out in 2022 to enable the launch of 5G services. Last month, Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw had asked service providers to gear up for the 5G launch.
'Expected to add Rs. 36.40 lakh crore to economy'
Touted as 100 times faster than the current 4G service, this upgraded version is said to boost India's economy by Rs. 36.40 lakh crore between 2023 and 2040, as per a recent report by GSMA — a global industry association which represents mobile network operators. It predicts 5G services to account for over one-third of total connections in India by 2030.
What is India Mobile Congress?
Claiming itself as being the largest telecom, media, and technology forum in entire Asia, the India Mobile Congress is organized jointly by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). Addressing an industry event last month, Vaishnaw said they were targeting 80% coverage in a short span while noting that it took years for countries to reach 40-50% coverage.
Manufacturing sector expected to benefit the most
The GSMA report says that the subscriber base in India was ready for the transition to 5G looking at the high rate of adoption of 4G services — which stood at 79%. The sectors which will benefit the most are manufacturing sector (20%) followed by retail (12%) and agriculture (11%). By March 2024, almost all of India is expected to have 5G coverage.
59% users likely to upgrade within first 12 months
A study by Ericsson ConsumerLab titled The Promise of 5G released on Wednesday showed that India saw the increase in 5G smartphone users by three times in the last two years. Over 10 crore users with 5G smartphones were ready to subscribe to the upgraded service in 2023. The report said 59% of smartphone users are looking to upgrade to 5G within 12 months.