5G is almost around the corner. 5G as a buzzword has been knocking on our doors for some time now sans a lot of action on the ground. However, that’s about to change as the Department of Telecom (DOT) recently approved applications from Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to conduct trials for the use and application of 5G technology. While field trials begin here in India, 5G as a technology has been commercially available in just over 50 countries such as France, South Korea, the US, etc. for a few years and there are valuable lessons that we can take from launches, successes, and failures in these markets. Indian operators could learn from their counterparts’ experience and avoid or rather not repeat the same mistake which their counterparts might have made.
Let’s take the case of 5G in France that has been commercially available since November 2020. A recent study done by us showed that there exists a gap in the quality of experience delivered by TSPs on 5G. The study was the first of its kind, measured experience on real devices placed in actual customer locations across nine major French cities. It revealed that while the incumbent operator provided average speeds of 146 Mbps, the newer operator is left far behind at 28 Mbps, which is a speed one would expect on 4G. These discrepancies between operators could be a result of different deployment strategies.
Such discrepancies can be problematic as they finally impact end customers. And in today’s time when the nation is grappling a devastating second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, providing seamless digital experience so that digital applications ranging from education and work to entertainment and dining can continue remotely.
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