According to a report by NASSCOM and Arthur D Little, 5G can contribute up to 2 per cent of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030, amounting to $180 billion to be spread across consumers and enterprises in different verticals, involving both public and private 5G networks. At around 1.1 billion, India has the second-highest number of telecom users in the world, of which 740 million are 4G customers. The number of 5G users in the country is expected to surpass 500 million by 2027, while average revenue per user (ARPU) is expected to grow 3 times between 2018 and 2025. 

As per the report, policies such as National Optical Fibre Network (NOFN), now BharatNet, which plans to connect 250,000 gram panchayats in the country will help enhance India’s potential for 5G adoption by increasing accessibility and affordability. A substantially aggressive rollout plan coupled with speedy 5G adoption across customer segments and geographies will also enable aggressive growth. Moreover, growing smartphone penetration, significant rise in over-the-top (OTT) consumption, digital payments, and e-commerce are some of the major factors driving digitisation, which are boosting the ARPUs of the industry.

Further, the report added that the number of 5G connections globally is estimated to be in excess of 4 billion, representing 35 per cent of total connections. 5G mobile subscriptions are expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 50 per cent across the globe. Also, 5G is expected to accelerate global GDP growth and enable a $1.5 trillion revenue potential by 2030. Key sectors that are expected to benefit the most from 5G include healthcare, energy and utilities, manufacturing, and retail.

However, the report noted that certain aspects such as adequate infrastructure upgradation and fiberisation for 5G deployment, along with network densification need to be addressed to realise the utmost benefit of the technology across industries. 

The report recommends the government of India work with stakeholders to implement comprehensive policies to address issues such as fiberisation, skill development, and cybersecurity, and ensure that 5G services can be incorporated for the digitalisation of all sectors in an efficient manner. It also suggests operators, technology companies and original equipment manufacturers must work together to advance and commercialise effective use cases across different industry verticals.