MoU aims to boost industrial applications of 5G in India

MoU aims to boost industrial applications of 5G in India

Given the likely importance of 5G to Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things (IoT), perhaps it should come as little surprise that industry body the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Germany’s 5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation (5G-ACAI).

The aim of the MoU is to fast-track and promote 5G mobile communications in different vertical industries, particularly in the manufacturing and process industry, across the Indian sub-continent.

What concrete developments the MoU inspires remains to be seen. However, the purpose of the three-year agreement is to increase cooperation between the two organisations on issues related to 5G and its adoption for industry automation across sectors.

5G-ACIA is a working party of ZVEI – the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers‘ Association. India's COAI represents India’s operators including such giants as Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea.

It's true, as Dr Andreas Müller, chairman of the 5G-ACIA, says, that 5G will have a significant impact on how future factories and other production facilities are designed, operated and maintained. It’s also true that India is already an industrial powerhouse with manufacturing contributing about 15 per cent of the overall GDP of the country.

However India’s 5G future is looking uncertain in a country that has put off the 5G spectrum auction process a number of times and where operators are weighed down financially by AGR dues and are by no means certain they can even afford 5G spectrum. It is these issues, as much as the industrial applications of 5G, that need to be addressed before India can truly fulfil its 5G potential.

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