In a bid to speed up the development of 5G applications in the country, the Prime Minister’s Office has stepped in to ensure that ministries, in addition to telcos, take active steps to come up with use cases.

According to sources, senior officials at the PMO have written to various ministries, including the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, to collaborate with the Department of Telecommunications to develop 5G use cases in sector-specific areas.

The PMO asked the ministries to develop the 5G use cases and pilots before the India Mobile Congress, which is usually held in October each year. 

It has been eight months since the launch of 5G services in India, and while India’s two largest telecom operators have set up some modicum of 5G services nationwide, use cases for 5G are few and far between, besides higher data speeds. 

With the launch of 5G services, users were expecting to unlock a new era of connectivity. From automated factory floors to augmented and virtual reality applications to advanced gaming, users anticipate hordes of new applications with 5G.

Now that the initial hype around the 5G launch has died down, telcos and ministries alike are scrounging for executable use cases for 5G services. 

No progress

The PMO’s letter comes after the Department of Telecom’s wider efforts to collaborate with other ministries and set up ways in which 5G could augment key functions for the government. The DoT has been collaborating with fourteen ministries since February 2022 to develop viable use cases. However, so far, it appears that no tangible progress in terms of pilots has been made. 

Without 5G applications that are different from the existing 4G services, telcos have also been unable to recover investments in 5G networks.

Speaking at FICCI Frames this year, Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal urged content creators and other OTT players to innovate so that users can better harness the “power of the supercomputer.” He too observed that higher data speeds won’t make any demonstrable difference to the applications that presently exist and can be done quite adequately with 4G data speeds.