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India Needs Robust Fibre Infra to Unleash Full 5G Potential: TRAI Chief

The telecom networks of India are now transporting more data compared to the networks of China and the US combined

While supporting the public private partnership (PPP) model to create common shared infrastructure at lower costs, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) Chairman R S Sharma said on Wednesday that a robust fibre infrastructure is crucial for the country for unleashing the full potential of 5G and new-age technologies.

“For fibre to happen, a public private partnership (PPP) where infrastructure providers too have a skin in the game, is needed,” TRAI Chief said while speaking at an interactive session at PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi.

Exponential growth in data consumption

India has witnessed an exponential growth in the consumption of data, placing the country up ahead of other major markets such as the US. Still, wireless connectivity remains the major part of data requirements in the country, Sharma noted.

The telecom networks of India are now transporting more data compared to the networks of China and the US combined. In addition, the consumption of data in India is more than double the average data consumption in the US. However, in India’s case, around 93% of the data is coming via wireless connectivity and just 7% through fixed line, he said.

On the contrary, the global ratio is around 46% for data transported via fixed lines and 54% via wireless networks. In the US, 60% data is transported through fixed line infrastructure and 40% through wireless infrastructure.

Pointing out this, TRAI Chief said that India has this deficit and the country cannot establish a great scenario of using new-age technologies unless it has a robust infrastructure in place. The need for robust infrastructure has been increasing now as India is moving towards next-generation 5G and loads of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT) and big data.

The entire range of 5G applications will make sure that the telecom sector in India is not just a vertical but also the primary platform for every other sector.