5G technology was first introduced in South Korea in the world shortly before, this technology is expressing unprecedented possibilities in the field of communication in the near future. Keeping this in mind, various nations are trying to adopt this technology rapidly. India is also planning to introduce 5G technology by the year 2020 but according to some, the experiences related to this area of India have not been satisfactory. In the light of this fact, it is necessary to study the communications sector of India so that solutions to the problems associated with this field can be found.
History of telecom sector
The telecom sector was liberalized in India in the year 1994 but the private sector could not enter the telecom sector. The main reason for this was the lack of authority to operate telecom services under the License System and Telegraph Act. In the above situation the telecom sector for the private sector remained in the pre-1991 (pre-1991) condition.
Initially, private investors showed great enthusiasm to join this sector, due to which the investors aspired for more revenue. Due to the low number of licenses and the government set very high fees for services, the use of services was limited, resulting in limited revenue. At the same time, the monopoly of public sector companies in this area added to the difficulties of the private sector.
In the year 1999, the Government of India took a major step to encourage the telecom sector. The government cut the license fee as the higher license fee was negatively affecting the sector. Subsequently, the region moved towards the Revenue-share license fee regime. The system continues to the present, with the move bringing the sector alive resulting in benefits to both the government and the private sector.
Current state of telecom sector
Presently, this sector is facing the same challenges as in the year 1999. The region is facing severe financial crisis. For the last few years, companies in the telecom sector have been competing for a lower rate of service charges. This situation is true from the consumer point of view but is taking the communications sector towards a serious crisis. Service provider small companies are exhausted and companies which are present in the market are also struggling for their survival due to this competition. This competition has also increased the burden of debt on companies.
Operation of 4G services in India has already been delayed due to regulatory uncertainty and delay in auction of spectrum. The world is moving rapidly towards commercial use of 5G but 5G technology is yet to be introduced in India.
In the year 2012, some changes were made in the spectrum policy, these changes were important for telecom operators. Under this, it became easy to get a license. Any company that wanted to provide telecom services could take a license. Although there are no barriers to obtaining licenses, the availability of licenses has emerged as a major problem in the telecom sector.
It is a next generation cellular technology that will provide faster and more reliable communication services with ultra low latency. A government panel report states that with 5G the peak network data speeds are expected to be in the range of 2–20 gigabits per second (Gbps). According to a government panel, it is estimated that 5G technology in India will generate a cumulative economic impact of $ 1 trillion by the year 2035. Also, according to a study, there are estimated to be 70 million 5G connections in India by the year 2025.
It is a term related to networking. Latency is the total time taken by a data packet to move from one node to another node. Latency refers to the time interval or delay.
Problems in operating 5G in India
The introduction of 5G service in India is expected in the year 2020, which is behind the times in the world perspective. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has kept the reserve price of spectrum required for 5G service extremely high, this price could be a hindrance to the growth and expansion of 5G service in India. It may be noted that the telecom sector in India is already grappling with economic problems, although it is a matter of relief that the Department of Telecommunications of India has returned the recommendations of TRAI for reconsideration. The Ministry has also constituted a committee under the Secretary of Telecom to determine taxes and duties for this area.
Apart from spectrum, the basic structure of 5G communication system will need to be changed. Merely upgrading existing LTE technology cannot meet the various requirements of all 5G use cases. According to a report, it is estimated that industries in India may require an additional investment of $ 60–70 billion to implement the 5G network. It is to be known that currently India’s telecom industry has a loan of Rs 7 lakh crore.
India’s telecom sector is going through a new phase of development. India’s priority has shifted from traditional telecom services to high quality services over time. Keeping this in mind, it has become necessary to change the regulatory structure of India. High dependence on wireless networks, high spectrum prices, digital segmentation and infrastructure development are some important problems that need to be addressed.
The solution to these problems can be initiated by changing the regulatory framework and eliminating the constraints related to the telecom sector. The current policy which emphasizes on getting maximum revenue through auction of spectrum should be changed. Such a policy will have to be focused which can tackle the challenge of lack of spectrum in this area and in future it will be useful for India at socio-economic level as well. Necessary rules and regulations need to be framed to deal with some new challenges in this area such as demand for higher fees for service, network connection issues, interconnection charges, forcing different services to buy together. There is also a need to create better synergies between Competition Commission of India (CCI) and TRAI in cases of telecom sector disorders and challenges for the competitive market.
Future of telecom sector
The past of the telecom sector in India has been volatile in terms of growth and development. But the current state of India refers to the strong potential for development of the region in the country. India has the second largest population of the world using Internet and telecommunications services. 70 percent of India’s population still lives in rural areas, only 58 percent of this population has access to telecommunications services. Keeping this fact in mind, India’s rural sector will contribute significantly in the development of telecom sector. India’s National Digital Communications Policy which came to light last year (2018) has set a target of investing 100 billion dollars by 2022 for this sector. It also aims to create 4 million jobs in the region. The policy of the government will play an important role in the development of the telecom sector in the near future. In the year 2020, India plans to operate 5G technology whose applications and economic impact point to a better future for India’s telecom sector. But for better development and equitable use of telecom it will be necessary that India also solve various obstacles related to this sector.
After liberalization, the telecom sector in India was also opened to the private sector but due to various constraints, the sector could not develop. Due to various economic and policy changes that have taken place over time, this area has also changed. It is believed that in future, communication technology will have an important contribution to the economy, so different nations are increasing their capacity in the field of communication. But the past of this region in India has been volatile, due to which the policies and infrastructure flaws of India are mainly responsible. Different countries in the world are beginning or have started using 5G technology, but this goal of India will be completed only by the year 2020. Before implementing this technology, India will have to overcome the constraints related to the communications sector, as well as implement it in such a way that it can ensure its widespread use in India. This will speed up the pace of economy along with socio-economic changes in India.
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