Industry experts on Tuesday welcomed the launch of the self-made 5G test bed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that the transformative power of 5G will provide a significant thrust to the country's economic growth across industries and sectors.
Prime Minister Modi dedicated an indigenous 5G Test Bed, in the form of 5Gi, to the nation during an event organised by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
"The launch of India's first 5G Test Bed will spur an ecosystem centred around innovation in next-gen technologies. Start-ups will now be able to test and validate their technological prototypes, products, and solutions locally in a 5G network," Prabhu Ram, Head-Industry Intelligence Group (IIG), CMR, told IANS.
Modi said that the 5G technology will facilitate governance and make a positive change in ease of doing business in many fields, creating more jobs in many sectors.
According to Tarun Pathak, Research Director, Counterpoint Research, it proves that Indigenisation is possible in an emerging and latest tech like 5G.
"This should give a boost to local talent and further support and strengthen India's image in emerging technologies which will be built on a strong 5G ecosystem," Pathak told IANS.
Modi said that the 2G era was full of frustration, corruption and policy paralysis.
"After that, we came to 3G, 4G and now we are testing the 5G technology, developed by the Communication Ministry, Indian Institute of Technology at Chennai and Delhi," the Prime Minister said.
Arvind Bali, CEO, Telecom Sector Skill Council, said that for adopting new tech and infrastructure, skilling along with reskilling/upskilling of the workforce will ensure that the human resource requirement is sufficient when 5G services are live.
"We, along with all stakeholders, is already driving training of workforce in new-age technologies and has developed NSQF-aligned courses with unified credit framework on 5G technology that will be recognised in universities and institutions to meet this huge upcoming demand in trained talent force when the time comes," said Bali.
Giving a thrust on domestic manufacturing, Modi also said that mobile manufacturing units have increased from just two in 2014 to more than 200 in the country.
Experts said that the next challenge is to drive true local value addition.
"This will be driven by a strong regulatory and policy environment and performance-linked incentive (PLI) scheme. India currently has local value addition of around 15 per cent in mobile and we need to more than double the same to generate more push," said Pathak.
Ram added that mobile manufacturing in India has been an impressive success story of the 'Make in India' mission.
"Mobile production in India today caters to not just a growing domestic digital economy, but also to developed markets around the world. With enhanced value addition taking place domestically, India is now slowly becoming an integral part of the global value chains," Ram told IANS.