India: becoming 5G-ready
India is now firmly established as a giant in the global mobile industry, with almost 750 million unique subscribers at the end of 2018. India alone is forecast to generate almost a quarter of the world’s new mobile subscribers over the period to 2025, and the market is seeing rapid migration to 4G-capable devices and smartphones. Though the market has reached significant milestones over recent years, the overall financial health of the sector is still weak. As a result, questions remain as to whether the industry is yet on a sustainable footing or indeed if it has the financial capacity to make the investments required for the transition to 5G. As India moves along the road to 5G and aims to deliver on its digital goals and ambitions, it is important that mobile broadband remains at the heart of the country’s policy vision, considering the uniqueness of India’s telecoms infrastructure and industry and the potential of mobile technology to address some of the challenges the country still faces.
This report looks at the 5G opportunity in India, taking into account cost and revenue considerations as well as market readiness. It offers both global and Indian perspectives of the 5G story ahead, and provides subscriber forecasts. It also examines the three critical elements required for India to realise the full promise of 5G: investment in infrastructure; a digital environment that inspires trust; and a modernised policy and regulatory framework.