According to Global System for Mobile communications Association (GSMA) report titled ‘India: on the road to a digital nation’, the telecom carriers in India are expected to invest around $19.5 billion in the development of advanced infrastructure for 5G by 2025. The report showed that 5G could benefit the Indian economy by $455 billion between 2023 and 2040, or more than 0.6 per cent of the GDP forecast for 2040, reflecting the large number of 5G use cases that could be implemented in the main sectors of India’s economy.

Besides, the findings of the report showed that 5G benefits are expected to be realised in new applications in the manufacturing sector (representing 20 per cent of the total benefit) as well as the retail, information communication technology (ICT) and agricultural sectors. However, while the Indian government has assigned two carriers of 250 MHz each in the E-band to address the current need to support 5G rollouts, the move may not be sufficient in the 5G era given the requirement for high-capacity backhaul to support use cases and increased data traffic.

Further, the report trusts that the consumer and enterprise segments present significant opportunities for 5G services in India. That said, the report also calls for further reforms in the sector to support the development of advanced telecom infrastructure is a fundamental driver for a digital society. Moreover, the GSMA report believes that given the importance of 5G to India’s digital future, it is critical for the government and the mobile industry to collectively evolve and ensure the sustainable growth of the mobile industry.