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TRAI Launches Consultation Paper on 5G Ecosystem’s Role in India’s Digital Transformation

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has released a consultation paper titled “Digital Transformation through 5G Ecosystem.” The primary aim of this paper is to address policy challenges and propose an appropriate policy framework to expedite the adoption and effective use of new technologies within the 5G ecosystem, contributing to the comprehensive and sustainable development of India’s economy.

The Ministry of Communications has emphasized that India is currently undergoing a rapid digital transformation, significantly impacting its economy and society. Reliable mobile communication technologies play a pivotal role in achieving the objectives set forth by the Digital India program. These technologies are bolstering the economy and empowering citizens by enabling services like the unified payment interface (UPI) and various innovative government-to-business (G2B) and government-to-citizen (G2C) applications. With the emergence of technologies like 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented/Virtual Reality (AR/VR), and the Metaverse, India stands on the cusp of unlocking new opportunities for growth and innovation.

India initiated its 5G services on October 1, 2022, with telecom service providers actively expanding the 5G network across the entire nation. The government has launched multiple initiatives to develop 5G infrastructure and promote research and development in this domain. TRAI has also issued recommendations to accelerate the deployment of 5G networks and services in the country. Collaborative efforts spanning various sectors have been undertaken to expedite the rollout of 5G. Beyond just infrastructure deployment, it is crucial to develop and deploy new use cases for both consumers and enterprises to realize the full potential of 5G technology. When 5G is combined with AI, extended reality (XR), and IoT, it will enable businesses and society to fully harness the benefits of these technological advancements.

However, achieving this vision necessitates effective collaboration across the ecosystem, involving Telecom Service Providers (TSPs), Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), infrastructure providers, and the government. Adequate infrastructure upgrades, fiberization for 5G deployment, and network densification are essential elements to fully reap the benefits of this technology across various industries.

The adoption of 5G will depend on factors like dedicated research and development investments to create India-specific use cases, increased enterprise involvement, affordable devices, and consumer adoption. To accomplish these goals, TRAI has proactively released this consultation paper to identify policy challenges and propose a suitable policy framework. The objective is to expedite the adoption and effective utilization of new technologies, ultimately contributing to the holistic and sustainable development of India’s economy through the 5G ecosystem.

The consultation paper is available on TRAI’s website, www.trai.gov.in, for input from stakeholders. Interested parties are invited to submit written comments on the issues under consideration by October 30, 2023, and counter-comments, if any, by November 13, 2023. Comments and counter-comments should preferably be submitted electronically via email to advadmn@trai.gov.in, with a copy to vibhatomar@trai.gov.in. For further clarification or information, stakeholders may reach out to Vandana Sethi, Advisor (Admin & IR), at 11-23221509.

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