Indian needs 5G, but Telcos must think about monetisation of 5G: Aircel CMO Anupam Vasudev

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Telecom operators in India must think about monetisation of 5G before taking steps to introduce the latest technology to the country considering that their massive investments in 4G technology have yet to yield returns, Aircel’s chief marketing officer Anupam Vasudev told in an interview with ET.

“Investment in 4G is happening because consumers really want it. So, if you want to survive you need to put 4G on the table. However, to make 5G happen you need to look probably one step ahead and start thinking of how to make money out of 5G,” Vasudev said.

“Players will be slightly more circumspect about putting in the money in 5G technology, given the fact that they just burnt a lot of cash in 4G,” he said. Vasudev said that 5G technology would require massive investments, which is why telcos would need to prepare a roadmap that would include finding out some initial use cases.

Telcos and gear vendors in the country are currently working on 5G use cases in healthcare, agriculture, automotive and education verticals.

The Aircel executive said that 4G is currently required for survival in the market, which is seeing intense competition following the entry of Reliance Jio Infocomm with ground-breaking tariffs. “I don’t think anybody who wants to stay in the game will say, ‘OK, I don’t want to do 4G.’ They have no other option,” he said.

Vasudev, however, said that India needs 5G because the infrastructure required for it will benefit the whole ecosystem in the industry.

Operators including Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Jio have already started taking steps to bring 5G to the country. While Airtel has already deployed pre-5G technology. Airtel and BSNL have formed alliances with telecom gear vendors such as Nokia, Ericsson and ZTE to test the new 5G technology and explore use cases around that.

Note: This article originally published on ET