Coronavirus outbreak casts shadow over 5G rollout
With little signs of respite from the Coronavirus, industry experts are anticipating a slowdown in 5G rollouts and devices ecosystem development globally. This is due to the global dominance of Chinese vendors such as Huawei in the 5G front. According to the industry insiders, owing to fact that the production of 5G network equipment at Huawei may be affected, there might be a further delay in 5G (services) in India.
“If the coronavirus menace continues for a few more months, the government may find it challenging to auction expensive 5G spectrum before January-February 2021 since a prolonged epidemic would hit 5G network deployments and devices availability in India too, further reducing the business case for local telcos to participate meaningfully in any early 5G airwaves sale this year,” explicates Rajiv Sharma, research head at SBICap Securities.
However, some telecom companies are optimistic about the ability of the non-Chinese vendors to step up production levels. “Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung can collectively cater to India’s 5G gear needs in case of supply challenges from Huawei and ZTE”, said Rajan Mathews, Director General of Cellular Operators Association of India.