Indian enterprises bullish on 5G but private networks tussle between telcos & tech cos continues unabated, Telecom News, ET Telecom

Telecom Diary: Indian companies appreciate 5G, but private network battle between telecommunications companies and technology companies continues unabatedCompanies in India are optimistic about the next generation of 5G technology, but the dispute between telecommunications companies and technology companies over direct allocation of frequencies to companies to set up their 5G private networks refuses to die out.

About 52% of companies plan to start using 5G services in 2022 or 2023, while 31% expect to use 5G in 2024. The introduction of 5G in India will be far more diverse than 4G, given the wide range of consumer and business use cases that 5G supports.

But these insights have emerged at a time when telecommunications companies are struggling to conquer a bigger cake of the 5G enterprise. Although the government has allowed direct allocation to private companies, the issue is not over yet and both sides are intensely trying to convince the government to decide in their favor.

Companies are expected to be the main money generator for the telecommunications companies – Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea – estimated to generate around 40% of total 5G revenue.

Telecommunications companies claim that the decision to allocate direct frequencies to companies to private 5G networks will hurt their business case. While technology companies have withdrawn, saying it is a ‘forward-looking decision’ and will be an additional source of revenue for the government through licensing fees and administrative fees paid for the spectrum. Companies have listed certain reasons to upgrade to the fast fifth generation wireless networks, where the top three are service reliability, control and security.

However, if the decision on private networks remains the same, telecommunications companies may refocus their planned 5G enterprise business to focus on medium-sized companies to gain new revenue streams with expected competition from large companies and large technology companies that can enter the fight for captured private networks by using next-generation technology.

Large companies with direct access to 5G airwaves will rely less on telecommunications companies to build / manage their tied networks. Business services were estimated to generate as much as 40% of future 5G revenue for telecommunications companies, a prospect that telecommunications companies will desperately seek to protect with revenue from 5G, which is expected to be driven primarily by B2B, not so much by retail subscribers.

Many say that there is enough space in the company’s private network ecosystem for telecom operators and technology companies to coexist. 5G implementation in private networks will require specialized and new technology, which will be a greenfield area for both parties. 5G is a predominantly business-to-business (B2B) technology and will first be used by companies and businesses.

Commercial deployment will take at least a few years and will probably first be deployed in industrial areas, special economic and commercially important zones.

The 5G Spectrum auction is scheduled for July 26, and services are expected to launch later this year.

5G subscriptions in India are expected to account for 40% of mobile subscriptions – 500 million – by the end of 2027. 4G, which dominates the connection in India, will see its contribution fall to 55% in 2027, from 68% at present. 4G subscriptions are expected to fall annually to an estimated 700 million subscriptions by 2027, as subscribers migrate to 5G.

Finally, when the industry talks about 5G, the state-run telecom player BSNL is fighting to launch its 4G services.

The deadlock between BSNL and TCS continued as the latter sought a price increase to provide networking equipment to as many as 6,000 sites for the rollout of the telecommunications company’s long – awaited fourth generation or 4G services. But a limited inauguration of BSNL’s next-generation commercial network by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 15 is in the works. Earlier this month, the Mumbai-based TCS sought to increase network equipment supply costs in line with rising component prices due to supply chain constraints, escalating wages and continuing rupee volatility against the US dollar.

On March 31, BSNL released a purchase order to purchase networking equipment for as many as 6,000 sites at Rs 560 crores, which according to sources is even 56% lower than the price of the Phase VIII expansion offered to Finnish multinational Nokia in 2018 .


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