5G networks offer the potential to transform industrial sectors and deliver significant social and economic benefits in India. To make the most of this opportunity, access to mmWave spectrum is key.
“In order for India to realise socioeconomic benefits and foster the adoption of the most technologically advanced 5G use cases, government should make the spectrum release timeline available to industry stakeholders as soon as possible,” said Manoj Misra, senior public policy director, GSMA, India.
The importance of how mmWave spectrum for 5G can help transform India is highlighted in a new report form the GSMA titled, “The Impact of mmWave 5G in India.” It was launched during a GSMA-GSA-COAI event focusing on this important topic by Guest of Honor Shri K. Ramchand, Member – T, DoT and Keynote Speaker Shri U K Srivastava, Sr DDG, TEC.
Notably, India stands to benefit significantly from mmWave-enabled 5G using bands such as 26 GHz and 28 GHz. Approximately $150 billion in additional GDP is anticipated for India over the period 2025–2040, according to the report which was authored by GSMA Intelligence.
Amongst the various sectors the manufacturing sector will see the greatest impact, accounting for about a fifth of the gains. The healthcare sector will also benefit greatly from mmWave-enabled 5G, with an impact of approximately $4 billion. These two verticals are explored in-depth in the report.
“It was after a great effort and support from DoT during WRC-19 that mmWave spectrum has been identified for 5G. The mmWave bands have also been identified by 5G HLF as primary 5G bands and these are also imperative to achieve targets specified in NDCP-2018. Early availability of mmWave spectrum for 5G in India will also drive much needed investments in this sector, as this spectrum will be extremely useful for driving the Digital India programme being an enabler across sectors of the economy including Industrial IoT (huge capacity and new services). We are confident that these reports will help the Government in its understanding in making mmWave available in a timely manner for deployment of 5G networks and services” said Lt. Gen Dr. SP Kochhar, director general at COAI during his opening remarks.
Most of the opportunities mmWave-enabled 5G offer largely depends on how and when the spectrum is made available. The new GSA report “Technical Report mmWave bands for 5G – India” focuses on this aspect, considering the vision and targets set by the National Digital Communication Policy (NDCP-2018) and 5G High Level Forum (5G HLF). It too was launched at the event.
The report also recommends that India should formalise its NFAP and announce its time-plan for 5G mmWave implementation as soon as possible to give visibility to stakeholders and future plans of operators and vertical industry relying on mmWave spectrum bands.
Mr. Jitendra Singh, head, GSA, said, “Access to a broad range of spectrum resources is one of the main growth drivers for the deployment of mobile broadband, IoT, and fixed wireless access services; conversely spectrum can also be a limiting factor for the expansion of services into new markets and industries. In India, where we’re seeing a fast adoption of smartphone and mobile devices, requires a high volume of spectrum, not only to connect, but also to serve Indian population with the required data rate to leverage the full potential of the digital economy. Timely access to harmonised and sufficient quantity of spectrum is key to maximising fulfilment of societal and digital goals envisioned in its National Digital Communication Policy. As our report clearly demonstrates, there are no technical co-existence issues of 5G with any of space services in India and sufficient protection margins are available for opening up both 26 and 28 GHz bands immediately for rolling out 5G in these mmWave bands. We encourage government to consider these bands for immediate inclusion in NFAP and announce the auction road map for these mmWave bands.”