India's telecom industry is expected to grow by $12.5 billion every three years as 5G will accelerate economic growth, increasing job opportunities and connecting the urban and rural population, according to a report by Deloitte India and CII.

5G will drive efficiency in critical sectors, such as energy, healthcare, and agriculture, the report says.

5G is expected to empower organisations to act on rich datasets in real-time, offering unprecedented visibility, insights, and control over assets, products, and services, says Peeyush Vaish, partner and telecom sector leader, Deloitte India.

"We also expect a surge in the requirement for private networks in Indian industries once they comprehend the benefits of shifting to 5G network," he adds.

While the current outlook for the telecom sector looks stable, there is a need for telecom companies to revisit their strategies and keep pace with new technologies and evolving marketplace, says Vaish. "Apart from commercial benefits, 5G can also work as a growth propeller for Industry 4.0 by facilitating use of Information and communication technology (ICT) across sectors like manufacturing, education, healthcare, agriculture, finance and others. This will not only transform businesses in India but also create value for the society at large," he says.

According to the Deloitte-CII report, the allocation of spectrum licences to non-telecoms will help promote nonpublic captive networks which would not only yield benefits for major telecom and technology companies, but also strengthen India's start-up ecosystem, enabling them to operate as system integrators for enterprises and administer their 5G private networks. Deloitte expects a spurt in private network requirements in Indian industries once the benefits of the shift have been realised.

5G will cater to the rising need for high-end digital infrastructure required across all human experiences from entertainment to education and beyond, says the report. The increasing demand for immersive content across various industrial sectors such as healthcare, edTech, manufacturing and retail, among others will necessitate the high-speed 5G network as a driver for seamless connectivity within the ecosystem.

Meanwhile, demand for smartphones is anticipated to rise as internet usage increases. This demand will be fuelled by the requirement to adopt fintech, e-health, and e-learning, the report says.

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