New Delhi: As India approches the much-awaited 5G buildouts, millions of mobile users will only enjoy the super-fast Internet in 2027 amid infrastructure limitations, limited use cases and low 5G handset penetration, industry experts said on Monday.
India is home to more than 500 million smartphone users and over 100 million users with 5G-ready smartphones wish to upgrade to a 5G subscription in 2023, according to a latest Ericsson report.
According to the Ericsson reports, 5G business potential industry revenues for service providers in India will be USD 17 billion by 2030.
5G deployments have yet to started in the country , 5G is expected to account for nearly 40 per cent of all subscriptions by 2027. In global terms, 5G is forecast to account for almost half of all subscriptions by 2027, topping 4.4 billion subscriptions.
“In theory, there are use cases out there which really warrant and demand 5G: enterprise solutions, private networks, IoT, logistics. But it could take a year or more for those applications to really take off,” Prasanto K. Roy, a leading technology and public policy expert said.
Telcos will focus on converting existing higher-ARPU (average revenue per user) individual customers to 5G, which really limits how much more they can charge for 5G especially in a competitive space.
“I don’t see 5G really bumping up ARPU overall in any significant way — at least not in 2023,” Roy said.
In the top four metros, consumers should be able to experience 5G in early October (according to Airtel) to late October (according to Reliance Jio), with Airtel planning to take 5G to eight cities this month.
There are no 5G roll out plans from Vodafone-Idea yet.
Not only consumers but also enterprises and the public sector will be able to benefit from 5G over the period of next two years.
According to smartphone players, 5G has the potential to bring together the entire ecosystem and online gaming, augmented/virtual reality (AR-VR) experience, along with content creation, will take centre-stage with the launch of 5G services.