5 big takeaways from India Mobile Congress 2022

5 big takeaways from India Mobile Congress 2022

The last time I visited the India Mobile Congress was in 2019, long before the pandemic, and there were rumors everywhere about 5G spectrum auctions expected that year. Ericsson and Qualcomm completed the first live 5G video call in India and mobile brands had just started offering 5G smartphones. Fast-forward to 2022, and nothing much has changed on the ground, even as this edition of the forum has triggered the launch of 5G services in India. Operators like Airtel and Jio have announced the first cities to get the services and 5G phones are now available for as little as Rs 10,000.

Here are my big takeaways from India Mobile Congress 2022.

5G was everywhere

The moment you enter the Pragati Maidan Convention Center in New Delhi, 5G-branded billboards greet you everywhere. For the past few years, 5G has been the main topic at IMC. It started as a vision, then became a promise, and this year 5G networks have started to roll out services. Much of the show revolved around 5G and how it could affect your life in a positive way. There was a clear emphasis by telecom carriers and hardware manufacturers to establish the narrative that “5G” is more than the tech buzz it has been so far.

As Reliance Industries President Mukesh Ambani said in his speech at IMC: “5G is much more than the next generation of connectivity technology. In fact, I think of 5G as an acronym for “5 Goals” that can fundamentally transform our nation.” Telecommunications companies, despite being saddled with debt, are betting on fifth-generation wireless standards to keep up with growing customer demand for streaming content and mobile gaming.

The intention is to increase revenue streams and attract more users to their platforms. But carriers are also aware that 5G will only penetrate a massive country like India when there is an ecosystem to unlock the full potential of next-generation wireless technology.

Jio will launch 5G network services in four cities this Dussehra: Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Varanasi.

Not a word about 5G rate plans

I was hoping to get a rough idea of ​​how much users have to pay to get 5G services on their phones, but was disappointed when nothing was announced at the India Mobile Congress. None of India’s big three telecom operators (Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea) gave any indication on pricing. All we hear from Mukesh Ambani is that his company plans to offer 5G services “more affordable than anywhere else in the world”. Experts say customers will initially need to pay a premium to get higher speeds on their phones and only when 5G becomes more widespread will rates match what users are currently paying for 4G. I expect both Reliance Jio and Airtel to announce 5G tariff plans around Diwali.
The deployment of fifth generation wireless networks known as 5G has started in India.

Focus on India-specific 5G use cases

From connected mobile ambulances to a cattle tracker, India-specific use cases of 5G were the talk of the town at IMC. Using 5G to solve real-life problems like remote surgery could be a lifesaver. But 5G use cases like these have also been demonstrated before. I was particularly excited when I saw the live demo of cloud gaming and how it could make game consoles less relevant in the future. The fact that I could play AAA games on a smartphone would be huge. Of course, cloud gaming requires a fast and stable internet connection. I am reasonably sure that once 5G services start rolling out in India, we will see an uptick in this segment.

JioGlass and JioBook

While Lava used this year’s BMI to launch a 5G smartphone priced at around Rs 10,000, Jio gave a sneak peek of the upcoming JioBook and JioGlass. Both are different products aimed at different users, with the JioBook aimed at school students. While the JioBook is a low-cost 4G-enabled laptop with a Qualcomm processor and JioOS running on top of Android, the JioGlass is a mixed reality headset that connects to the Internet via a cable that must be connected to the owner’s smartphone. . I see a lot of potential in JioGlass in the future as it offers a new user experience, something that will play a credible role in the metaverse.

Physical events are back, finally

Attending a big tech event in person after two long years was a surreal experience, at least for me. This year, IMC once again brought together telecommunications executives, trade experts, policymakers and the press under one roof. It’s the latest sign that the tech world may be slowly returning to the traditional in-person events that were the norm before the pandemic forced everything to go virtual. There is an energy and excitement about attending physical events, which cannot be replicated by virtual shows. At IMC 2022, I met key executives and industry experts in a face-to-face format. After a long time,


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