If you have received news that the brand new 5G baseband is coming to your local area in India and is currently very excited that you can download a Netflix movie or a massive game in a couple of minutes … beware. Even when the authorities are doing their very best to hype up the new technology, 5G might not reach the Indian masses for the next 5 to 6 years. If you’re wondering why, the reasons are very simple: The spectrum allocation for 5G tech as well as practical trials hadn't even taken place yet.


According to IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, spectrum auctions will be held in this year and practical trial runs for 5G tech using the radio-wave frequencies chosen by the Ministry will be held in some 100 days after the auctions.

Though it’s easy to think that it’s not so bad of a plan, judging by how things are moving right now it’s actually not good news at all.

The entirety of the 5G ecosystem is composed of sophisticated infrastructures, spectrum, and edge devices from multiple different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are not available at the moment. This means that even though there are many devices accessible to Indian that are capable of a 5G connection, they’re ultimately redundant, or in other words, useless.

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Even though there are many devices accessible to Indian that are capable of a 5G connection, they’re ultimately redundant

5 to 6 Years Time Is The Plan

Neil Shah, Research Director at respected research firm Counterpoint Research, expects that 5G will reach mainstream in the country in 2023, with mass market beginning a couple of years later. But Shah followed up his prediction by saying that in comparison to the adoption of 3G or 4G techs, the rate of deployment for 5G techs is considerably faster. Old cellular networking standards in the past took about 7 to 8 years to adopt, while 5G was predicted to only take 5 to 6 years.

India is planning for a 2020 rollout of 5G tech, yet the country hasn’t even allocated a spectrum for operators for trial of use cases.

Narrowing down to an individual level, many companies like Ericsson, Nokia, Intel, and Huawei are doubling on India as a place they could invest in 5G testbeds.

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Companies like Huawei are betting on 5G tech

5G Is An Evolutionary Point ... Not A Saviour

In a report published by the International Data Corporation (IDC), the rollouts of 5G techs have started in many areas and while 2019 is an entrance year, 2020 is actually the year when everything will start to take off. IDC forecasted that 8.9% of smartphones shipped within 2020 will feature 5G capability, which is equivalent to about 123.5 million smartphones. By 2023, this number will have grown to about 28.1% of smartphone shipped globally.

Commenting on the figures, Ryan Reith, the Programme Vice President for IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Device Tracker, said that while he and the company do not believe that 5G is the “Saviour” in smartphones, they do believe that it is an evolutionary point for personal mobile technologies.

Service Providers Are Not Up To the Task

At this moment in time, countries like South Korea, China, Japan, Australia, and the U.S. are leading the progress towards grand-scale deployment of 5G networks.

The pricing is going to be different from the norms also, according to Shah. It will be driven mostly by factors such as consumption patterns, the different types of content as well as applications.

Gardner reported that many companies are betting on the future of Internet-of-Things communication, video analytics, and streaming techs. A great number of corporations - roughly two-thirds of those who were examined - has plans in place to ensure that their own brand of 5G communication tech is deployed by 2020, although it is clear that communications service providers (CSPs) are not at all ready for such a task.

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CSPs are not ready for mass deployment of 5G just yet.

Sylvain Fabre, the Senior Research Director at Gardner, said that the unavailability and the lack of capability of CSPs can be the greatest blockade towards full deployment of 5G techs.

India still has a long way to go before it could have a functioning and stable 5G network covering roughly 600 million Internet users within the country.