Cisco said that the initial use cases and trials are starting to emerge in India
Cisco is working with telecom operators in India for the monetization of 5G use cases, primarily private 5G as a service model, local newspaper The Economic Times reported, citing Anand Bhaskar, managing director of the service providers business unit at Cisco India.
“We see the 5G rollout taking place at a very rapid pace with both service providers Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel. We are also working with them to see what more we can do in the area of monetization of the use cases, especially around private 5G as a service model,” Bhaskar said during the Cisco India Summit.
“The uptake of 5G private networks will be based on use cases. You need to have a use case which will determine an enterprise to have a spectrum, build the network and be able to monetize that,” Bhaskar said.
The executive also noted that the initial use cases and trials are starting to emerge but added that it will take time to see major 5G private network deployments in the Indian market. “It will take some time as we see what will work with the customers or with the service providers,” he said.
“We are seeing use cases ([or private networks] in large mines, large open areas, which need to be networked and connected,” said Bhaskar.
The executive said that enterprises need to define the economic model and the monetization model in order to determine how much they can pay in the auction for the spectrum.”
Cisco is open to working with both the operators and the enterprises on the rollout of private 5G networks, depending on the rules set by the government, said Bhaskar.
Finnish vendor Nokia recently said it expected investments in 5G private networks in India to reach around $240-250 million by 2027.
According to the European vendor, the first private networks in India are expected to be deployed in the next couple of quarters, mostly in the segments of transportation, manufacturing, healthcare and utilities.
India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had previously initiated a process to identify 5G spectrum bands to be allocated to companies for the deployment of private networks.
Once the DoT identifies the most suitable frequencies for private networks, it will ask the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to give pricing for the allocation of those bands.
According to the initial guidelines on private networks released by DoT, companies seeking to deploy their own private networks can lease spectrum from telecom operators or get it directly from DoT. Enterprises can also ask telecom operators to roll out their private networks.
The Indian government has not given any deadline for direct spectrum allocation for 5G private networks. According to industry sources, the overall process could take one to two years.
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.