Indian IT majors such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Wipro and Sterlite Technologies Ltd (STL) are busy preparing the ground for the coming wave of 5G services, working with telcos, academic institutions and global technology partners to configure networks, launch services suites and provide support.

To begin with, the country’s largest software exporter and services firm TCS, which is helping telecom companies such as Three UK, a British telecom and Internet service provider, configure its network to support 5G services, has a headstart. Apart from banking on its global expertise, the Tata group firm will also partner with industry majors to set up a test-bed for 5G solutions, much ahead of the 5G rollout.

“Biggest opportunity in 5G could be captured by enterprises by re-imagining new products and services and delivering new value for their customers. TCS, as a key member of Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TS DSI), is forging the establishment of 5G standards for supporting such new capabilities,” Kamal Bhadada, President-Communication, Media and Information Services Industry Group, TCS, told BusinessLine .

“To help envision these, TCS is actively collaborating with leading industry original equipment manufacturers, academic institutions and operators to establish a 5G test bed at one of our campuses in India to co-innovate exciting 5G products and services (healthcare, manufacturing, agriculture, education, public safety and disaster recovery among others) and enable market readiness towards adoption of 5G,” Bhadada added.

Hyderabad-based IT firm Cyient is building Open-Radio Access Network (Open-RAN) software and Ultra Dense Networks (UDNs), to help operators transit to 5G and garner customers faster. The global engineering and digital technology solutions firm is also ready with Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and drone-based survey capabilities to identify sites to set up 5G towers.

“The adoption of 5G technology is beginning to revolutionise communications networks and open up new possibilities for enterprises and communication service providers. With greater bandwidth and ultra-fast download speeds up to 10 GBPS, 5G will enable a host of intelligent applications to work efficiently and cost-effectively. This is accentuating the need for CSPs to accelerate the rollout of network assets,” Prabhakar Atla, Senior Vice President–Communications and Utilities at Cyient, said.

Impact on social structures

On its part, digital networks integrator STL has developed a portfolio of 5G products – such as indoor 5G Small cells (under brand name Garuda), outdoor multi-band radio and WiFi-6 solutions – in compliance with Open-RAN standards.

“By bringing unprecedented levels of connectivity, 5G is set to have an enormous impact on social structures. The technology has the potential to bridge the social inequalities and improve quality of life by providing equal access to information and digital skills, and unlocking new channels of communications and interactions regardless of the locations. 5G also stands to give economic advantage as it will drive relentless innovation, open new streams of revenues and generate millions of employment opportunities,” STL Group CEO Anand Agarwal said.

Wipro has been engaged with 5G community to drive standards and has enabled innovation or adoption of 5G-related technologies.

“As our clients are emerging from the pandemic, the need of digital transformation has accelerated, leading to further enhancement of our 5G-related services and offerings, which will leverage the convergence with Cloud, Edge, AI and IoT, starting with our 5G Edge services suite and our Network Engineering and Network AI Engineering services,” a company spokesperson said.

Radisys, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), has been working with Qualcomm to develop open 5G network over virtualised RAN. Jio Platforms, which is close to rolling out 5G, is expected to be using technologies that would be developed by Radisys. Tech Mahindra, which is already into 5G-related projects, is also ready for the Indian market.