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Application Verticals

Application Verticals

5G will extend the use of wireless technologies, for the first time, across completely new sectors of the economy. 5G will enable both existing and new wireless service providers to develop novel business models to offer innovative applications to individuals and to different economic verticals from industrial, commercial, educational, healthcare, agricultural, financial and social sectors. These verticals can be serviced through public and private sector enterprises and in certain cases directly by the government agencies.

Since 5G will support many applications, deeper and faster deployment in India can greatly benefit from the setting up of applications and use case labs. These labs will provide multiple functions – interoperability testing for new applications, fostering innovation in 5G use cases, and promote entrepreneurship to develop locally tailored solutions. The setting up of applications and use case labs across different economic verticals in a phased manner, is worth consideration. 5G technology has the potential for ushering a major societal transformation in India by enabling a rapid expansion of the role of information technology across manufacturing, educational, healthcare, agricultural, financial and social sectors.

5G Relevance to India

5G has been designed for global adoption with flexibility to support wide number of applications. Its adoption in India will involve many use cases adopted widely in the world, but also some unique applications to suit India’s needs. 5G’s value for India may be even higher than in advanced countries because of the lower levels of investments in physical infrastructure. 5G may offer ‘leapfrog’ opportunities by providing ‘smart infrastructure’ that offers lower cost and faster infrastructure delivery. A good example of this leap frog effect, in the past, was in telephony. India’s telephone density till the late 1990s remained small due to high cost fixed line telephony. However, the arrival of 21 mobile networks vastly reduced cost of service delivery and the country’s telephone penetration went from less than 5% in 1995 to 95% by 2010, bringing striking benefits to the Indian economy.

A more recent example of a leapfrog effect is ride sharing made possible by wireless internet access on 4G smart phones. Shared ride hailing services have transformed the infrastructure efficiencies in utilization of shared cars, autos and motor cycles. Though still early in its growth, vehicle sharing promises significant infrastructure value. 

5G technologies will offer even more opportunities in infrastructure efficiencies. For example, 5G will enable ‘vehicle platooning’, a technology that exploits 5G’s low latency communication capability to pack vehicles into platoons with low inter-vehicle spacing despite travelling at high speeds. 5G will allow rapid coordination between the vehicles and keep the vehicles in the platoon safe. Platooning can double vehicle density in roads promoting efficient and safer use of the limited road infrastructure.

In manufacturing, 5G will enable use of robotics for precision manufacturing, particularly where humans cannot perform these functions safely or with the necessary precision. 5G can also enable better logistics to track goods from raw materials to product delivery and improved sharing of expensive design and manufacturing resources across the country. 

In agriculture, 5G can enable improvement in the entire value-chain, from precision farming, smart irrigation, improved soil and crop monitoring, to livestock management. 

In the energy sector, ‘smart grids’ and ‘smart metering’ can be efficiently supported enabling growth of alternate energy technologies. With the rise of renewable and storage technologies, low latency communications will be critical to manage these grids. 

In health-care, 5G can enable more effective tele-medicine delivery, tele-control of surgical robotics and wireless monitoring of vital statistics. 

5G Inter-Ministerial Committee on Use case Labs and Applications:

An inter-ministerial committee was constituted by DoT in November 2021 to establish usage labs and make them available to the development community to exploit the benefits of 5G technologies to channelize and synergize industry, academia competencies into market solutions. In this regard, DoT is co-ordinating with 19 potential user ministries/departments to identify the potential use cases which can be implemented by 5G technology. The user ministries/departments are – Ministry of Power; MoHUA; DST; MoH&FW (Ministry of Health & Family Welfare); MoA&FW (Ministry of Agriculture & Farmer’s Welfare); MeitY; MoE; Ministry of Mines; Ministry of Railways; Ministry of Jal Shakti; Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways; Ministry of Heavy Industries; Ministry of Road Transport and Highways; Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Department of Commerce); Ministry of Coal; Ministry of Tourism; Department of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports; Department of Sports, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports; Director General of Mines Safety.

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