India's 5G dream The Broadband India Forum (BIF) President T.V. Ramachandran has been stressed.
"When I came to the (telecom) sector in 1994, India had about 47 million (connections)."
Fiber connections in the country have declined and not over the years. Now, it has only 20 million fixed-line connections.
"If you are using a microwave, you can not even make use of newer technology." 5G can not happen if there is not enough fiber, "Ramachandran told IANS in interview.
The Quantum of Fibers Placed Underground in India is 1 / 15th of that in the US and 1 / 10th of that in China, the BIF President pointed out, adding that as against 80 per cent of towers in China connected with fiber, only 20 per cent of towers in India are currently fiber-connected.
Ramachandran, who is the founding President of the Industry Policy Forum, observed: "Pre-dominantly, in other broadband is generally broadband, whether you call it landline or optic fiber that has got limitless capacity … so that is always the basis for broadband in most countries. "
He has the opinion that although the range of mobile broadband is increasing, it has become fixed-line broadband.
Explaining the need for fiber connectivity, Ramachandran said: "Finally, mobile traffic has hauled back on fixed line."
"Microwave does not have the capacity to carry heavy data. Thus, it is inevitable that they need a fixed-line connection, "he emphasizes.
The BIF President, however, is optimistic about the government's emphasis on the issue as it sets out to be a National Fiber Authority.
The National Digital Communications Policy, 2018, released on September 26, said it would create a National Fiber Authority to accelerate fiber deployment in the country.
Speaking on the shortage of Wi-Fi hotspots, Ramachandran 35,000. "For India's size of population, we do not have eight million hotspots, or even one lakh at the moment," Ramachandran stressed.
The recent announcemen Manoj Sinha at the India Mobile Congress (IMC 2018) said that Wi-Fi hotspots were a "big beginning", Ramachandran noted.
So he said that the Department of Telecommunication's decision in October to delicense 605MHz (megahertz) of the 5GHz (gigahertz) band would increase the availability of radio-waves by 12 times the existing capacity.
The decision would help in removing one of the major barriers cited for creation of hotspots Ramachandran said.
The 5G connectivity would be rolled out in the country – in particular regions if not nationwide – in 2020.
The trial for 5G and "2019 is the year for trials", he emphasizes.
The government has laid down a 2020 timeline for the launch of 5G connecti vity in the country.
"I would think 2019 wants to go in progress … It has to be in Delhi, Mumbai, semi-urban and rural areas. All these want to be covered and we need a lot of time for that. So, that phase I foresee In 2019, "Ramachandran explained.
Jio GigaFiber, Ramachandran, a former Director General of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), said it was "clear" that another disruption would happen.
Describing the disruption of 2016 as "painful", he said it was a shake-up for a long time "sustainable" market.