The deployment of fifth-generation cellular technology or 5G will drive digital transformation in Indian sectors such as manufacturing, agriculture, transport and logistics, said a top executive from Swiss telecommunications hardware and solutions provider Ericsson.
"We have been working with various industries globally and especially with the adoption of Industry 4.0 approach, I believe there are sectors in India which will benefit from the deployment of 5G. These sectors include agriculture, mining, manufacturing and transport," Magnus Ewerbring, chief technology officer (CTO) for Asia-Pacific at Ericsson, told TechCircle.
The CTO also said that early use cases of 5G will most likely be enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and fixed wireless access (FWA).
eMBB, according to Ericsson, will be the first commercial application of 5G. It can handle more data and displays higher speeds at lower latency than 4G, making it ideal for communications among machines.
FWA is a kind of broadband service where you don't need to lay down cable, making it more cost-effective than fibre. It can also handle 10 to 100 times more traffic than 4G networks.
“The near-term benefits of 5G include eMBB and FWA. These will help address the limited fixed broadband penetration levels in India and enhance data experience on the move," Ewerbring said.
"In the long run, 5G will be a game changer for telecom service providers, enabling new revenue streams and making them a part of value chains they have not been used to previously," he added.
According to Ericsson's report, total mobile data traffic is expected to increase by a factor of five, with 5G networks projected to carry 25% of mobile traffic by the end of 2024.
The report further claims that 5G is expected to reach more than 40% of the global population and 1.5 billion subscriptions for eMBB by the end of 2024.
Ewerbring, citing the company's 5G consumer lab study, said that video consumption is set to rise with 5G.
"Consumers expect to not only stream video in higher resolutions but also use immersive video formats such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), resulting in an additional three hours of video content being watched weekly on mobile devices by users in the 5G future," he explained.
He further said that Indian smartphone users expect streaming in 4K and AR app usage to increase with the availability of 5G services in India.
According to Ericsson’s 5G Consumer Potential study, 8 out of 10 consumers said that they will start watching YouTube and Netflix in 4K and will increase downloading of HD video content once 5G becomes available.
The CTO also said that 5G rollout will also create an explosion of data and hence automation and artificial intelligence will be needed to handle data traffic.
“As 5G-enabled technologies develop, operators will need to increase their network capacity. But with additional capacity, comes additional complexity. To meet these new challenges, we have introduced engineering solutions that combine machine learning and human ingenuity across our portfolio to enable networks to self-learn, self-optimise and deliver optimal user experience, that enable telecom operators to capitalise on the opportunities of 5G," Ewerbring said.