Private 5G networks by enterprises to not impact telcos’ revenues: States BIF

Private 5G captive networks will lead to increased productivity for the enterprises and drive better revenues for the telecom service providers, Broadband India Forum (BIF) said, dismissing speculation of loss in revenues for telcos as a “misplaced” one.

Telcos will still be deriving a major chunk of revenue from external network services, comprising voice and data communications, T.V. Ramachandran, President of BIF said in a letter to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) Secretary, K Rajaraman. 

“Captive usage in the current situation would only contribute a minor share in processes/applications like robotics, automation, etc., due to challenges in delivering the required SLAs through public networks. Therefore, the speculated loss in revenues for telcos via enterprise services is a misplaced one,” Ramachandran said. 

The telco group, Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), in contrast, has strongly opposed TRAI’s recommendations on allowing enterprises to set up private networks saying this will kill the 5G business case for them. 

TRAI has recently recommended administratively assigning 5G spectrum on demand for private enterprise networks through a publicized online portal-based process. 

TRAI has also suggested that private enterprises have the option to lease spectrum from telcos to set up their own captive private 5G networks. 

Ramachandran stressed that it may take some time to effectively roll out 5G and in the meanwhile, India cannot afford to stay behind. “5G NPNs (non-public networks) provide India an excellent opportunity to catch up with the world and showcase early adoption of 5G across several different verticals,” he said. 

“These balanced recommendations from TRAI on Private 5G networks, once formalized into policy, would be a win-win for all,” he added.