India ready for big 5G leap in 2020 but mass adoption will take longer
With fifth-generation cellular network technology (5G) round the corner that allows data transfer at a 10 times faster rate than 4G, India is set to witness major disruptions across industries in 2020 -- with greater adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) devices and advances computing at the edge, leading industry experts said on Tuesday.
Although the 5G technology that is gaining momentum fast globally may take at least another 5-6 years to reach the masses in India -- for the simple reason that even 5G spectrum allocation is yet to take place for full-fledged trials -- the enterprises are bullish on more real-life use cases emerging from the country.
"With 5G around the corner, greater adoption of IoT devices, and a need for faster decision-making, advanced edge computing that converges AI, IoT and 5G will be the key to realizing business value from data," said Prakash Mallya, VP, and MD Sales and Marketing Group, Intel India.
In the past 12 months, the integration of AI and IoT at the Edge has rapidly increased, allowing businesses across industries to design automated and more predictive systems.
Coupled with 5G services, edge computing requirements will accelerate exponentially.
"Harnessing these growing opportunities requires products and tools that are interoperable, computer vision enabled for the unique demands of the edge, software that is open and easy to deploy, and investment in the next generation of talent that can build, operate and effectively leverage new technology," Mallya elaborated.
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), commercial 5G deployments have begun in many regions and while 2019 is very much an introductory year at best, 2020 looks to be the year where 5G begins to ramp up.
"Although technologies will continue to evolve and find application in business processes, the mixture of 5G and IoT can be expected to dominate the foreseeable future. Staying competitive will ultimately mean adapting, and there will be plenty in 2020 and beyond for companies to catch up with. So, it's time to get started," said Sameer Mahapatra, Country Sales Head -- India and SAARC, Aeris Communications.
However, the entire 5G ecosystem, which involves original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), infrastructure, spectrum and edge devices, is currently missing in India and in such a scenario, various 5G-enabled devices that are now set to see the light of day are redundant for the Indian consumers.
"We expect 5G to reach mainstream in India in 2023 and mass market starting 2025 or so," said Neil Shah, Research Director at Counterpoint Research.
"This will, however, be much earlier compared to 3G and 4G era which took at least seven to eight years in India since the first global commercialisation for each generation of tech curves," Shah told IANS.
According to cybersecurity firm Forcepoint, while 5G appears to be a promising service for organisations, the more reliable connectivity and lower latency of 5G will also work in favour of determined employees wishing to transfer swathes of corporate data.
5G will also bring new cyber threat scenarios in place. "With the roll-out of 5G continuing in 2020, cybersecurity stack needs to have visibility and control of such data movement else organizations risk being unable to identify data theft at the speed necessary," the company said in a statement.
Seqrite, the Enterprise Security solutions brand of Quick Heal Technologies Ltd, expects the threat exposure to increase substantially. "Cybercriminals will look to capitalise on the new potential entry points that will open up within enterprise networks as everything from internet cars to smart refrigerators connect with them.
"The increase in threats to confidentiality and privacy will be unprecedented, with organisations and institutions required to monitor a much larger landscape for attacks," said Seqrite.