Following the July 2018 opening of the Center of Excellence and Innovation Lab for 5G in Delhi, Ericsson is taking important steps in India’s 5G development together with some of the country’s biggest service providers such as Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and BSNL.

Results of a lab test being displayed on a monitor

Ericsson has been working with the communications service providers to develop 5G use cases, many of which were showcased at the 2018 India Mobile Congress (IMC).

This collaborative industry work is part of a wider drive to develop 5G in India, boosted by  the Centre of Excellence (CoE) and Innovation Lab for 5G at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi in July. The Ericsson lab, the first of its kind in India, aims to fast-track 5G deployments by bringing together telecom ecosystems, academia, industry and start-ups from across the country.

Nunzio Mirtillo, Head of South East Asia, Oceania and India at Ericsson says: “5G will have a hugely beneficial impact on India – and it is becoming a reality. We estimate that 5G-enabled digitization revenue potential in India will be USD 27.3 billion by 2026 -around USD 13 billion of which is service provider potential. Innovation and collaborative working by ecosystem players, including service providers, will be key to fulfilling that potential.”

One IMC 2018 event highlight was a use case developed in partnership with Bharti Airtel, which demonstrated Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone operations that showcased the life-saving potential of 5G for mission-critical applications such as support for emergency services, disaster management and remote surveillance.

The BVLOS drone operations leverage multi-gigabit speeds and the super-low latency capabilities of a 5G network through network slicing, wherein a part of the network can be distributed and dynamically deployed at the cellular edge in order to reduce end-to-end latency.

In the lead up to IMC 2018, Ericsson and service provider Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJio),  developed a series of ultra-low latency 5G use-cases. These includes remotely-operated machinery and a VR-assisted driven bus connected to a 5G network, both of which were part of the event. A 5G connected car made accessible at IMC for remote driving over a live 5G network in 3.5 GHz from IIT-Delhi was also showcased.

The event also saw the signing of a 5G Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Ericsson and service provider Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to work together on developing new 5G use cases, knowledge sharing on 5G technology concepts, and industry and innovation trends including 3GPP standardization progress.  The partnership will also leverage Ericsson’s 5G Center of Excellence.

IMC 2018 was held October 25 to 27, 2018 in Delhi.