5G – A key enabler for India’s economic growth

By Charles Peng, HONOR India President

We are at the threshold of a digital revolution, driven by easy accessibility to the internet, increased data consumption and the government’s efforts to bridge the digital divide in the country.  The digital revolution in India is expected to create new opportunities for growth, transform the industrial landscape and bolster the economic growth in the country. A key element to this growth will be the adoption and uptake of 5G in the country.

The 5G technology marks a significant evolution in terms of connectivity that will transform almost all elements of our daily lives. 5G will be essential for India to fully embrace Industry 4.0 – the next industrial revolution which represents new measures with which smart and connected technology can be submerged into an organisational setup as well as the lives of the common person. In order for India to be a frontrunner in the new industrial wave, it is essential for it to be an early adopter of the 5G technology. A first mover advantage in 5G adoption presents benefits that will help India realise its economic ambitions. According to a report by a government-appointed panel, 5G is expected to create a cumulative economic impact of $1 trillion in India by 2035.

5G is not only a wireless technology that offers low latency and better connectivity to the internet but also an array of technological advancements that can influence everything that we do. Rather than just connecting people over a communication platform, it helps connect a multitude of devices that can endlessly communicate with each other.  This signifies the myriad opportunities that 5G presents where operational productivity is directly dependent on the technology. A strong 5G infrastructure can help India take a significant leap forward when it comes to manufacturing and automation, thus creating a significant impact on the economic progress of the country.  A first mover advantage can help countries like India gain leadership and reap larger benefits associated with 5G. 

A major difference between the previous generations of wireless technology as opposed to 5G is that while the former was limited to telecom operators, the latter presents opportunities across sectors that can benefit from the technology. The government has laid emphasis on bridging the digital divide in the country, while also focusing on building the country as a manufacturing hub. In order to realise this ambition, it is essential to invest in creating a setup for innovation and adoption of the technology. The next generation smart factories are dependent on industrial automation and smart machinery. This will be made possible through automation of manufacturing plants and 5G will be the key enabler for this in the future.  

Much different from the previous generations, 5G is believed to address sectors such as manufacturing, energy, healthcare, transportation and logistics among others. There is a rise in the number of equipment manufacturers across the sectors that are working on next gen features like complete network security and automation.  5G combined with IoT has the capability to create a completely new set of solutions that can ensure maximum output and efficiency. As we see new growth options across sectors, equipment manufacturers will be well posed to create partnerships to devise solutions catering to different requirements across sectors.

India has one of the largest millennial and Gen Z population across the globe, representing an audience that spends most of its time on the Internet. This age group forms the major share of internet users. As businesses evolve and new solutions come to the fore, the need for high speed and uniform connectivity is only going to grow amongst this section of the audience. 5G is all set to enhance the way we connect and change the face of the Internet as we know it.

With the long term advantages and wide spread implications that the 5G technology presents along with the increased government focus on digitisation, there is surely immense opportunity that can help India unleash its potential and help it take a forward leap when it comes to economic growth. There is however, an urgent need to make significant strides in terms of establishing a 5G infrastructure and be an early adopter to reap the long-term benefits of 5G.