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Ericsson Showcases 5G and Signs Agreement with Bharti Airtel

5G will enable a $27.3 billion revenue opportunity for Indian telecom operators by 2026 – the handset and money to purchase 5G airwaves is all that is missing.

That vehicular device was what was receiving 5G signals at an event held in New Delhi. That mini rover will have to shrink to the size of a mobile phone or a PC if you and I are to make to use of 5G speed internet.

The release for the event read, "Ericsson last Friday showcased the first live 5G end to end demonstrations in India using its 5G test bed and 5G NR Radio, demonstrating extremely high throughput and ultra low latency. This milestone builds on Ericsson’s pioneering role in the Indian telecom industry. It reinforces the company’s commitment to bring the latest technology innovations and creating a 5G ecosystems in the country in support of the Indian Government’s vision to have 5G mobile network roll out by 2020.

The technology exhibit at Ericsson Connect 2017 also featured 5G use cases and live demonstration of essential technologies on the road to 5G like Gigabit LTE (1 GBPS download speeds) with License Assisted Access LAA technology. The LAA live demo highlights how this technology can leverage wireless network resources using higher frequency bands on a small cell architecture. Other technology innovations presented in the showcase included advancements in Radio Network Evolution, 5G Ready Transport and Network Slicing.

According to the just released Ericsson 5G Business Potential Report, 5G will enable a $27.3 billion revenue opportunity for Indian telecom operators by 2026. The largest opportunity will be seen like manufacturing, energy and utilities followed by public safety and health sectors. This will be over and above the revenue generated from traditional services which is expected to grow up to $63 billion by 2026.

Agriculture will open up revenue opportunities up to $400 million for telecom operators. The application of 5G will be in areas like field monitoring and mapping, livestock routing and monitoring, on-field applications, and related services. The retail sector in India will offer potential 5G enabled revenue of up to $1.15 billion by 2026. 5G can help in revolutionizing customer experience and increase operational efficiencies within the retail segment.

Nunzio Mirtillo, head of market area for Southeast Asia, Oceania and India said, 'We are strengthening our commitment to the Indian market by pioneering the first live 5G demonstration in the country.'

Nitin Bansal, MD of Ericsson India said, '5G is expected to play a major role in digitalization of industries. 5G will bring new level of performance and characteristics to the telecom networks enabling new services and creating new ecosystems. New revenue streams will open for operators as they go beyond being connectivity and infrastructure providers to become service enablers and service creators. 5G has the potential to enable 43 percent incremental revenue opportunity for the Indian operators by 2026.' "  

All that seems to be missing is a handset to support 5G and telecom service providers that have rights to transmit on spectrum that supports 5G speeds of internet. At the 5G demonstration by Ericsson the device that was receiving the 5G signals was the size of a mini golf cart or a mars rover. At the end of August this year, Trai had released a consultation paper seeking telco opinion on pricing and timing of auction for 9 bands that will include airwaves conducive to carrying 5G signal. However at the time the paper was out, analysts and telco companies were of the opinion buying any piece of spectrum, if prices were to be pegged in the range of last year’s auction would be much too exorbitant and non-viable given the financial health of the telcos at the time.

On the same day as the 5G demonstration, Mirtillo of Ericsson announced, "We have MoUs (agreements) with 36 operators globally. In India, we have recently tied up with Bharti Airtel for 5G technology."

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