Ericsson organized the second edition of its ‘Broadband for All’ Summit, in partnership with the Embassy of Sweden and COAI .The Broadband for All Summit saw industry leaders and policy makers focus on ICT as an enabler for ’Smart Digital India’ and the enabling policies and the regulatory framework needed to realize this Vision .
Delivering his inaugural address, Mr. Paolo Colella, Head of Region India, Ericsson stated, “Three fundamental ICT forces – mobility, broadband, and cloud – are rapidly reshaping value chains, digitalizing business needs and creating new possibilities as never before. Committing to ICT-enabled transformation is a priority for every country and will be the key to achieving economic growth, boosting national competitiveness, and ensuring social well-being. The Indian Government’s initiatives like Digital India and Smart Cities Agenda are a manifestation of this commitment and the evolution of the right policy framework to support these initiatives will ensure that the full benefits of this ICT led transformation are enjoyed by all.”
There is a strong link between ICT maturity and triple bottom line benefits, but the scope of those benefits is not automatic. Technology needs to be backed by resilient and adequate policy so that the scale and sustainability of the benefits can be enhanced. “Execution on the National Broadband Policy, spectrum management and evolution of framework for Internet of Things and Cloud based services are all key factors that will have a bearing on the impact of ICT transformation in the country and therefore need to be focused on.” stated Mr. Rajan Mathews , Director General, COAI.
As per the Ericsson Mobility Report, WCDMA/HSPA technology that covered more than 35 per cent of the population at the end of 2014, will increase to cover around 90% by the end of 2020. Additionally, around 40% of the population is expected to be covered by LTE networks in India by the Year 2020. More than one new mobile subscription is activated every second in India, and changing consumer habits of accessing video content and data anytime, anywhere are putting new demands on the networks. India is also seeing a transformation of industries as never before. E Commerce, payments, utilities, education automobiles, and governance are all seeing the impact of mobile broadband. India will need to contribute and leverage the global scale to benefit from this transformation.
As technology transforms industries, industries are also transforming technologies. The requirements of different use cases increasingly shape the capabilities of technology in significant ways. 5G is the next big step in the evolution of mobile communication technologies. While 5G will enable significantly higher throughput, lower latency, and more data capacity, performance gains are far from the full story for the technology. Beyond improvements in mobile broadband services, 5G is about catering for a widening range of use cases related to the Internet of Things (IoT).
5G is an evolution that combines new and existing radio access, cloud, core and management & orchestration technologies. Countries like Japan, South Korea, US and China to name a few, have announced plans to introduce pre-standard 5G ahead of the anticipated timelines of 2020. Mr Ulf Pehrsson, Vice President Government & Industry Relations, Ericsson, states: “To fully leverage the benefits of existing and new communication technologies like 5G, India too will need to take a proactive approach – free up additional spectrum and lay out a spectrum roadmap well in advance so that operators and industry can prepare well and fully deliver using the transformative possibilities of ICT.”
A holistic and long term approach is needed in terms of the regulatory framework to enable India to successfully transform itself into ‘Smart Digital India’ using broadband as a platform.