5G in India: The journey is about to begin - ET Telecom

5G in India: The journey is about to begin

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5G in India: The journey is about to beginBy Tarun Chhabra, Head of Mobile Networks Business, India

2021 brought positive news for India, not just about the availability of COVID-19 vaccines, but also about the developments in the 5G front that are likely to set the 5G wheel in motion. DoT recently announced that 5G trials are likely to begin in the next two to three months and the trial schedule will be announced soon. Nokia is fully geared up for the upcoming 5G trials.

We can expect some limited 5G rollouts to start toward the end of 2021 or early 2022, with pending spectrum allocation. 5G is critical to India’s digital transformation thrust. It has already been commercially deployed by over 140 networks in more than 60 countries.

Realizing the 5G transformation

5G empowers communication service providers (CSPs) to move beyond a subscriber-driven business model and reinvent themselves as digital service providers (DSPs) for driving innovation, safety, and productivity across industries and enterprises. Below discussed are some of the key enablers that will play a major role in realizing the full potential of 5G in India and delivering on the digital transformation.

Trust credentials

As more and more mission-critical information will travel over the networks with increasing digitalization, CSPs will have to protect not only their own organizations’ data and applications but also those of their partners and customers across the 5G ecosystem. So, remember to partner with a supplier you trust when it comes to securing the networks.

It was not without reason that Nokia was recognized as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies in 2021 – the fourth year consecutively and for the fifth time overall.

Delivering on performance

5G will introduce a range of new low-latency, high-bandwidth services – be it high-speed video download, mission-critical or AR/ VR applications, or connecting billions of devices and sensors for IoT and Industry 4.0. CSPs will need a top-of-the-line solution to transform their networks and business and reap the economic benefits.

Nokia’s speed record of 8 Gbps on a commercial network in Finland speaks volumes about the performance of its commercially deployed 5G solutions. Its rank number one in granted essential 5G patents explains the depth of its R&D prowess.

In India, it implemented the country’s biggest massive MIMO rollout and the world’s largest Dynamic Spectrum sharing deployment to enhance network efficiency and pave way for a smooth migration to 5G.


The economic sustainability of 5G networks will depend on the extent and speed with which the CSPs can introduce specialized services (slices) to their customers for different applications and use cases, such as IoT, gaming, enterprise, and so on.

Nokia announced World’s first E2E automated 4G/5G slicing solution covering RAN, transport, and core in 2020. The solution enables CSPs to rapidly deliver and assure network slicing services within minutes instead of hours or days.

5G promises to deliver many things, but above all, it must be an enabler to improve lives and create a safer, more sustainable society. Nokia ReefShark SoC (system on chip) platform cuts energy consumption significantly and Liquid-cooled 5G AirScale Base Station highlights its commitment to environmental sustainability.

Scalability and openness

Flexibility and scalability and emerged as key attributes to maximize network efficiency and operability. Cloud RAN provides scalability, low-latency, and high-performance, in addition to different network architecture options to address diverse market requirements.

Nokia has launched its 5G Cloud RAN solution with a virtualized CU in vRAN1.0 and the solution is now evolving to vRAN2.0 with virtualized DU.

CSPs and vendors are working together to define the role of open standards and support new services with enhanced efficiency. Nokia is committed to O-RAN and is the first major vendor to join the O-RAN alliance and Open RAN Policy coalition.

Making in India, for India and the world (Atmanirbhar)

The Government of India has launched several initiatives and schemes under ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ to promote self-reliance in the telecom sector. The objective is to develop India into a global hub of manufacturing telecom equipment.

Nokia is fully committed to this cause and is already manufacturing 5G NR and 5G Massive MIMO equipment at its Chennai factory – the first of its kind in the country. It can adequately cater to our domestic demand and ongoing export of 5G gear to other countries.

Nokia Global Delivery Centres in Chennai and Noida are already handling 5G network operations in several countries. All that experience and skillset can be leveraged for the Indian market to help the operators scale for the 5G launch.

The 5G story is about to unfold in India – let’s buckle up to embark upon the journey!

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