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Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel are propelling India into the 5G era with substantial financial investments and rapid network rollouts. Garnering over 100 million 5G users collectively within a year of service launch, these telecom giants are not only enhancing connectivity across the nation but also meeting the burgeoning demand for high-speed internet among Indian consumers. Amidst multi-billion-dollar loans and strategic expansions, the 5G race in India is unfolding at a remarkable pace, promising a transformative impact on the country’s digital landscape.
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Eutelsat Communications announced the completion of its all-share combination with OneWeb, the global low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite communications network, following the approval today at the Ordinary and Extraordinary General Meeting of Eutelsat shareholders. This combination forms the Eutelsat Group. The newly formed Eutelsat Group is strategically positioned to be a global leader in space communications. Eutelsat’s powerful GEO fleet will combine network density and high throughput with the low latency and ubiquity of OneWeb’s LEO constellation to offer customers global, fully integrated connectivity services.
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The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has expressed concerns to the Department of Telecom (DoT) about delicensing the 6 GHz spectrum, fearing it may obstruct the development and deployment of 5G and 6G technologies in India. Major telecom operators including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, and Vodafone Idea are backing COAI’s stance. This move comes amidst the potential revenue loss for the government and the imperative need to use the spectrum efficiently for advancing India’s telecommunication sector.
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Indian telecom companies, including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, and Vodafone Idea, are struggling to raise tariffs amid the 5G rollout, with average revenue per user (ARPU) increasing only 1-3% sequentially in the December quarter. Significant capital expenditures and a competitive landscape contribute to the delay in tariff hikes, which impacts investors’ concerns. Revenue growth is expected to moderate, while limited 5G use-cases and monetization opportunities also hinder ARPU growth.
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Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has introduced the Bharat 6G Vision Document, which aims to accelerate the adoption of new technology in India, and launched the 6G research and development test bed. The document was developed by a technology innovation group on 6G, consisting of members from various government ministries, research institutions, academia, standardization bodies, telecom service providers, and industry. The group will help to create a roadmap and action plans for 6G in India.

The 6G test bed, launched alongside the document, will offer a platform for industry, academic institutions, and others to test and validate evolving technologies. The government believes that these initiatives will provide an environment conducive to innovation, capacity building, and faster technology adoption in the country.
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The adoption of 5G services in India’s subscriber base is expected to boost data consumption as they upgrade to higher data packages to access faster speeds. This increase in data usage is anticipated to result in higher average revenue per user (ARPU) and better return metrics for telecommunication companies (telcos).
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The GSMA announced a new industry-wide initiative called GSMA Open Gateway, a framework of universal network Application Programmable Interfaces (APIs), designed to provide universal access to operator networks for developers. Launched with the support of 21 mobile network operators, the move is aimed at changing the way the telecoms industry designs and delivers services in an API economy world.
Usecase
Airtel has implemented two Industrial grade use cases for quality improvement and operational efficiency at Bosch’s state-of-the-art manufacturing facility, utilizing the trial spectrum. In both cases, 5G technology such as mobile broadband and ultra-reliable low latency communications drove automated operations ensuring faster scale up and reduced downtimes. The trial successfully demonstrates Airtel’s capability to deliver high-quality Private Network solutions for Industry 4.0.

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