“INDIA IS A STRATEGIC MARKET FOR ERICSSON”
Businessworld|October 31, 2021
Ericsson India is ready to roll out 5G in the country. Investment in 5G is critical to unlock the next level of growth for the country, NITIN BANSAL, Head, Ericsson India & Head of Network Solutions, Ericsson South East Asia, Oceania & India tells ASHISH SINHA of BW Businessworld in a chat. Excerpts:
ASHISH SINHA

Why does Ericsson believe that India is completely ready for 5G?

From a consumer perspective, there is high interest for 5G in India with consumers willing to pay a premium for the new 5G capabilities. An Ericsson ConsumerLab report titled ‘Five ways to a better 5G’ found that at least 40 million smartphone users in India could adopt the 5G technology in the first year of the launch. Indian users are willing to pay as much as 50 per cent more for 5G plans, provided they are bundled with new services. Further, with average data consumption per smartphone at 14.6 GB per month, India continues to be the second-highest data-consuming country in the world, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report 2021.

With the market witnessing strong mobile broadband penetration, we believe India is ready for 5G and affordable 5G spectrum needs to be made available to the operators. From a technology perspective, Ericsson is ready for 5G. Our radio system hardware has been 5G-ready since 2015 enabling operators to upgrade to 5G with a remote software installation. We continue to work with our Indian service providers to prepare for the introduction of 5G in India.

What kind of investments would Indian telecom companies need to make for 5G?

It is premature to quantify investments required to rollout 5G in India. However, it is worth highlighting that Indian telecom operators are getting ready for 5G by augmenting their 4G networks to enable seamless transition to 5G. According to our ‘Economic study of enhanced mobile broadband’, evolution to 5G will enable 10 times lower cost per gigabyte than current 4G.

What is the quantum of investment made by Ericsson in India? How is Ericsson driving ‘Make in India’ for India and the world? What are Ericsson’s future plans in India?

Ericsson has been in India since 1903 supporting all mobile generations from 2G, 3G, 4G, and now 5G. Ericsson was the first telecom equipment company to start manufacturing in India in 1994. Since then, we are catering to all requirements for supplies in India from our facility in Pune and are exporting both 4G and 5G gear to other countries. Ericsson India has the largest employee workforce anywhere in the world with operations across all functions from design, R&D and manufacturing to sales and service, networks, managed services.

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