08:08 GMT22 February 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Towards the end of 2019, Indian Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad confirmed that India was ready to go ahead with its 5G trials in early 2020. The announcement got experts thinking about financing 5G without burdening any particular sector in India’s currently slumping economy.

    Ahead of the trials, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has advised industries to suggest pocket-friendly ways of implementing 5G adoption in the later phases of its roll-out.

    Chaired by Ram Sewak Sharma, TRAI is a government body, responsible for regulating the telecom sector in India.

    On Wednesday, while addressing a summit in New Delhi, Sharma noted that 5G as a technology would be used across various sectors including agriculture, healthcare and defence among others. He stated that the telecom industry in India would not bear hefty investments required for 5G adaption alone.

    For instance, in January experts from the US-based Consumer Technology Association (CTA) highlighted the concept of “smart villages” which would be facilitated by 5G data connectivity, equipping farmers with advanced technologies to help in better crop cultivation and easier field and livestock management.

    The TRAI head also expressed support for “Made-in-India” telecom equipment as part of its budget-friendly 5G-related recommendations.

    Ajit Pai, an advisor at the government policy think tank called NITI Ayog also sided with Sharma in highlighting the importance of industrialised sectors exploring possibilities of sharing a common infrastructure to deploy 5G at a wider level in India.

    These suggestions from industry leaders come at a time when India’s telecom industry is crippled by debts of over $13 billion owed to the government and $114.2 billion owed to banks.

    In fact, what were once the cheapest internet and telecom service rates in the world are soon expected to go up by 30 per cent in India.

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