Home5GIndian telcos say they are better positioned for 5G private networks

Indian telcos say they are better positioned for 5G private networks

Over 20 Indian enterprises have applied to secure 5G spectrum to set private networks in the country


Indian carriers believe that they are better prepared for the end-to-end deployment of private 5G networks and for managing the related infrastructure compared to enterprises, local newspaper The Economic Times reported, citing top executives of local operators Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea.

“We think that telcos are the best suited because we have mastered the art and the science of planning. And it’s not just spectrum planning, it’s complete radio planning or core planning and the lifecycle management of the device or the subscriber ecosystem,” Rochak Kapur, EVP and head of enterprise products and business operations at Vodafone Idea, was quoted as saying.

“As telcos, we have been serving hundreds of thousands of enterprises. In my mind, we have met most of the requirements, and we are pretty confident that we’ll continue to be able to meet the requirements of enterprises, be it with private networks, be it with public networks, or be it with the combination of both,” the executive added.

Meanwhile, Salil Khanna, head of enterprise and government business at Reliance Jio Infocomm, indicated that running a telecom network will not be a core activity for any of the enterprises.

“It’s a proven philosophy that organizations should focus on their core activities, and leave all the non-core activities to the experts. I think running a telecom network is not going to be core for any of them,” he added.

Over 20 Indian companies have applied to secure 5G spectrum to set private networks in the country, according to recent press reports. Some of the interested firms include Infosys, Capgemini, GMR, Larsen & Toubro, Tata Communications, Tata Power and Tejas Networks.

The companies’ applications were submitted in response to a request from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) meant to help figure out the level of market demand for spectrum to set up private networks. After assessing the demand, the Indian government will decide whether or not spectrum for such private networks should be assigned, and at what price. Currently, enterprises can lease spectrum from telcos to establish a private network.

However, the DoT has said that the current exercise was to study demand—so an application at this stage would not mean spectrum would be assigned to the interested company.

The telecom department has also sought the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI)’s views on pricing at which spectrum can be allocated.

The potential direct allocation of spectrum to enterprises for the deployment of private networks has been generating tensions between technology firms and telecom operators.

Indian company Tata Communications recently said it is currently in talks with at least 40 large businesses from different verticals about providing them with private 5G networks.

Vishy Ramaswamy, Tata Communications’s VP for 5G and digital solutions incubation, reportedly said that the firm is currently carrying out some trials with these companies, and in certain cases, Tata Communications is already having commercials talks regarding future private 5G network deployments.


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