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India could be instrumental in building new use cases for 5G, says Qualcomm’s Alex Katouzian

Varun Aggarwal Mumbai | Updated on December 05, 2019 Published on December 05, 2019

The company is working with Reliance Jio, Flipkart and Amazon to build new services on 5G

 

Chipmaker Qualcomm, which launched its new set of 5G chipsets earlier this week, is working with Reliance Jio, Flipart and Amazon India to build new services on 5G.

India could be instrumental in building new use cases for 5G, according to Alex Katouzian, senior vice-president and general manager of the Mobile Business Unit at Qualcomm Technologies.

"We work with Reliance Jio for their services and are involved with them on a fairly active basis for building 5G use cases. We also work with Flipkart and Amazon India (for 5G). We innovate with them quite a bit, we go through their services," Katouzian said on the sidelines of Qualcomm's annual Snapdragon Summit.

Qualcomm has a large R&D base in India, which would be instrumental in creating partnerships with Indian companies and in building new use cases for 5G for the Indian market, he said.

Speaking to BusinessLine, Cristiano Amon, President of Qualcomm Inc said, Indian regulators would have a big role to play in ensuring that 5G in India is deployed to its full potential.

"We have been promoting this worldwide, including in India ... you need to get three things going as soon as possible. One, you need to get a new spectrum for sub-6 5G network, you need to have a mmWave spectrum allocated and conditions should be such that operators can use the existing spectrum to deploy 5G, using Dynamic Spectrum Sharing. 5G networks require all of this. You will be unable to deliver many of the use cases of 5G if you only have one," Amon said.

"I don't understand why, but this industry (5G industry) started with different companies starting to say 5G is really SA and the ones who didn't have mmWave starting to say 5G is really sub-6 and this is not a CDMA vs GSMA debate. Every 5G operate will have SAsub-6 and mmWave. I think mindset is important to be clear with regulators so that you don't limit the ability of market like India from using all the capabilities of 5G," Amon said.

Qualcomm has been promoting the use of dynamic spectrum sharing, a technology that allows 4G and 5G networks to work simultaneously on the same spectrum. This allows operators to offer 5G to existing as well as new users without forcing them to immediately buy 5G devices or lose the ones that cannot afford to migrate to new phones.

"An operator with a 3G spectrum needed to deploy the spectrum of 4G LTE. Therefore, you needed more time for spectrum to brought up for new technologies. This has been an issue on how fast you can reuse spectrum. With DSS, an operator in India can use a low frequency spectrum and use it for 5G and 4G on both type of devices. This allows an operator to start building coverage and allows much easier migration," Amon said.

He added that Qualcomm was working on making 5G devices cheaper by offering 5G capabilities in not just its most expensive chipsets, but even on entry-levels ones.

"5G is going to be very transformative. It’s important to have 5G at all tiers. From India’s potential as a market for Qualcomm is that we want to bring 5G across our entire portfolio and not only in 800 tier (top series of processors), but also in 700, 600 and even below. 700 has been widely successful in the Indian market, but within 2020, you’ll see 5G in every single tier of the Qualcomm roadmap. The goal is also to get 5G to the price point of 600 and 400 tier, so we can actually build scale to make technology affordable to users. That’s going to be very impactful in Indian market," Amon said.

(The writer is in Hawaii at the invitation of Qualcomm)

Published on December 05, 2019
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