Nearly 90 million Indians could be connected on 5G by 2025

21 October 2019 3 min. read
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Although it has been slow on the uptake across the globe so far, 5G technology is set to pick up momentum in the Indian market over the next few years, reaching nearly 90 million connections by 2025. This according to a new report from Big Four accounting and advisory firm KPMG. 

The 88 million 5G mobile connections that KPMG anticipates by 2025 will make up as much as 7% of all mobile connections across India. Over the same period of time, India is expected to have reached as many as 850 million mobile internet connections, and a large portion of this new consumer pool will adopt 5G technology.

KPMG’s report has been compiled in collaboration with the India Mobile Congress and the Cellular Operations Association of India and examines the true potential of India’s economy as it speeds towards digitalisation. The report envisions an Industry 4.0- driven business environment that is "intelligent, immersive and inventive."

Transition of 2G/3G subscribers to 4G

5G has long been an integral part of the global tech revolution that is underway, given its potential applications. However, establishing the enabling infrastructure for the technology and taking it to its true potential requires a remarkably high level of investment, leading to slow progress across the global market.

Another barrier to the rolling out of 5G has been the widespread concern around its implications for privacy. Operators of 5G networks could potentially have access to vast pools of private data, necessitating the development of comprehensive data privacy laws before the technology is instated.

However, once the various obstacles have been overcome, the technology has the potential to bring with it a host of benefits, including enhanced speed and stability of internet connections. The technology might even make mobile data a better internet source than the installed WiFi in homes.

5G vs 4G

KPMG details how these improvements have tremendous implications for businesses. "Enterprises will have to consider the business implications of having super- fast and stable internet access anytime, anywhere. The increased bandwidth will enable machines, robots and autonomous vehicles to collect and transfer more data than ever before, leading to advances in multiple technologies like IoT, AI, AR/VR, etc," states the report.

These advantages considered, 5G has tremendous value to add to the economy. KPMG predicts that by 2025, 5G technology will be contributing and average of 0.35% to 0.5% of the Indian economy, not only through its own value but also through its facilitation of all sectors that are digitally reliant.

"As per our analysis, India has the potential to unlock $48.69 billion (INR3,408 billion) through
the deployment of 5G over four years," predicts the report. A report from fellow Big Four firm Deloitte from last year also painted a similar picture, stressing that 5G has the potential to take India’s digital economy to $1 trillion by 2025.

The DNA of 5G value for an enterprise

Not all sectors will benefit equally from this boom. Those that draw a lot on technology will thrive, while those that are not grounded in the tech domain might not. KPMG predicts that the retail, finance and technology sectors respectively are likely to draw the most benefits from the new paradigm.

To realise this potential, it will be crucial for the government to continue its targeted efforts towards making the business environment in India more friendly. Campaigns such as Digital India will need more impetus, although significant participation will be required from the private sector as well.