Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday launched the 5G telephony services that promise to provide ultra-high-speed internet on mobile phones, saying it marks the beginning of a new era and presents an infinite sky of opportunities. Later this month, the fifth generation or 5G services will roll out to at least 13 cities, with the goal of nationwide coverage in the next two years.
Launching the services at the India Mobile Congress (IMC) 2022, Modi said it is a special day for the world’s fifth largest economy.
“Today, 130 crore Indians are getting a wonderful gift in the form of 5G from the country and from the telecom industry of the country," he said, adding that 5G is the dawn of a new era. “5G is the beginning of an infinite sky of opportunities."
With speeds multiple times faster than 4G and lag-free connectivity, 5G can enable billions of connected devices to share data in real time. It holds the promise of revolutionising sectors from healthcare and education to agriculture and disaster monitoring. The 5G services will progressively cover the entire country over the next couple of years – Reliance Jio promises to do that by December 2023 and Bharti Airtel by March 2024.
Industry experts told News18 that the rollout of 5G services will have tremendous impact on several sectors, from education to healthcare to gaming. “Robotics in healthcare, manufacturing, retail, and education along with the use of artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality in education are some of the key use cases,” said Nishant Bansal, Senior Research Manager, IDC Asia/Pacific.
Danish Ahmed, founder, healthtrip.com, told News18 that the 5G rollout can have a significant impact on medical tourism in India by enabling ‘tele-surgery’.
In tele-surgery, surgeons in one location can operate on patients in another location by remotely operating surgical robots or guiding surgeons through a virtual presence in the operating theatre.
“Both of these require high-speed internet with low latency, which 5G will enable. In the coming decade, we can expect thousands of remote surgeries where Indian dentists and surgeons will virtually treat their patients through remotely operated surgical robots,” said Ahmed.
Niraj Jha, Founder and CEO, HanumanCare, said 5G would revolutionise the ‘health tech’ sector. “We will see more real-time surgeries on a daily basis. Telemedicine and tele-surgery practices will take place, along with an increase in tele-radiology and tele-cardiology practices.”
Jha added that tele-ICUs are the need of the hour for rural India and all these surgeries will take place with the help of 5G because of increased bandwidth and low latency services.
This is another booming sector which witnessed the emergence of several unicorns during the Covid-19 pandemic. And now industry leaders believe that the sector will benefit more from the 5G launch.
Anup Raaj, Founder and CEO of InstaPrep by 7 Classes, told News18 that the main benefit of 5G is that devices can interconnect very easily and communicate with each other without human interpretation, which can help in creating a smarter classroom which is also known as the internet of things (IoT).
“The main advantage of 5G is AR & VR. These technologies can give students better education. 5G will enable schools and institutes to become high-tech and reduce manpower involvement,” he said.
“Currently, only big companies like Google and YouTube are able to provide the infrastructure to stream high-quality content because of their strong infra. 5G will give more opportunities to new tech companies to stream in real-time and build more affordable solutions for students,” Raaj noted.
Niraj Bora, Founder of Surmount Business Advisors Pvt Ltd, said that just as 3G and broadband-enabled high adoption of video streaming and online gaming, 5G will usher mass adoption of high data consumption use cases for various applications across sectors.
Sanjay Lodha, co-founder at Netweb Technologies, said “non-important segments” like gaming and Metaverse will be benefited from 5G.
According to Roland Landers, CEO of All India Gaming Federation, 5G will definitely be a game-changer for online gaming. “Low latency and high bandwidth will allow immersive experience for online multiplayer games on all platforms. 5G will be significant for cloud gaming where even low-specification hardware and smartphones can run high-quality games. Similarly, it will change the AR/VR experience for the gaming industry,” he said.
Soham Thacker, CEO and Founder of Gamerji, stated that 5G will empower the growth that India has already witnessed in the gaming sector by providing more opportunities for local publishers to introduce high-end mobile games that require faster speeds for competitive gaming. This will also enhance the market for live streaming and live online content.
Parth Chadha, Co-Founder and CEO of STAN, told News18: “5G is going to act as a catalyst for unprecedented development and progress of the already booming gaming industry in India.”
Anku Jain, Managing Director, MediaTek India, said 5G will be a key driver for Digital India initiatives and realizing Design in India opportunities, leveraging disruptive technologies like AI, cloud and others across the ecosystem.
“We foresee India becoming a major hub for cutting-edge semiconductor R&D and design. Rollout of 5G services will accelerate the next wave of digital transformation. MediaTek congratulates the people of India and we are extremely proud to be a part of this significant milestone in India’s journey towards Atmanirbharta.”
According to Devroop Dhar, Co-Founder of Primus Partners, along with education and healthcare, 5G will tremendously transform sectors like agriculture, manufacturing and construction.
“Technologies like IoT will help farmers understand the crop cycle and the soil condition in real-time. With talks of Agriculture 4.0 arriving in India with a boost of technology in the sector, 5G will prove to be a game-changer in assisting the farmers, easing their burden and improving the quality of work.”
Sanjeev Barnwal, Founder and CTO of e-commerce platform Meesho, said such a revolutionary technology will not only help in the digitisation of millions of small businesses in the country but also provide impetus to the government’s goal of becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025.
“As a tech-first e-commerce company, we’re also excited to see its potential impact on the adoption of newer innovations like live/video commerce, especially in the tier 2+ markets,” he added.