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The Rise of 5G in India: A Look at Nokia’s Equipment Demand Forecast

Key Takeaways

• Nokia anticipates equipment demand surge in India by 2024-25

• 5G network rollouts completed but demand continues

• Fixed Wireless Access networks driving next telecom phase

• Nokia’s net sales in India double due to 5G push

• 5G subscriptions projected to dominate by 2030

The Unabated Demand for 5G Infrastructure

As India stands on the brink of a telecommunications revolution, the completion of 5G network rollouts across the country marks a significant milestone. However, contrary to what one might expect, the narrative does not end here. Nokia, a global leader in 5G technology, projects a substantial surge in demand for telecom equipment in India during 2024-25. This anticipation underscores a deeper narrative within India’s telecom sector, propelled by the proliferation of fixed wireless access networks and a burgeoning appetite for 5G connectivity.

Tarun Chhabra, the head of mobile networks business at Nokia India, emphasizes the critical role of 5G technology in advancing the telecom sector into its next phase. Despite the comprehensive rollout of 5G networks by Indian telecom operators, the demand for equipment is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. This forecast is not merely speculative; it is backed by Nokia’s impressive 102% increase in net sales in India in Q3 2023, driven primarily by 5G deployments.

5G’s Expansive Impact on India’s Telecom Landscape

The demand for 5G equipment in India is not an isolated phenomenon. It mirrors a global trend towards increased 5G adoption but is particularly noteworthy in the Indian context due to the country’s vast potential for digital growth. The Ericsson Mobility Report projects a dramatic increase in 5G subscriptions in India, from 130 million in 2023 to 860 million by 2029, accounting for 68% of mobile subscriptions in the region. This explosive growth trajectory is indicative of the transformative potential of 5G technology for India’s digital economy.

Nokia’s strategic focus on India is evident in its investment in the region’s 5G infrastructure. The company’s anticipation of continued equipment demand beyond the initial network rollout phase speaks to the evolving nature of 5G technology and its applications. From enhancing broadband reach and fixed wireless access to supporting a surge in 5G smartphone usage, Nokia envisions a multifaceted expansion of India’s telecom sector driven by 5G technology.

Looking Beyond the Horizon: 5G’s Role in India’s Digital Future

The ongoing demand for 5G equipment in India, even after the completion of network rollouts, raises pertinent questions about the future of telecom in the country. It reflects a larger trend of digital transformation that goes beyond mere connectivity. The rise of 5G is poised to unlock new economic opportunities, foster innovation, and bridge digital divides across India’s vast and diverse landscape.

Moreover, Nokia’s projections regarding the global telecom network demand, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22% to 25% from 2022 to 2030, highlight the sustained momentum of 5G adoption. This growth is not just about enhancing mobile connectivity; it is about enabling a plethora of services and applications, from the Internet of Things (IoT) to artificial intelligence (AI) and beyond, that will redefine the contours of India’s digital ecosystem.

In conclusion, the narrative of 5G in India is far from over. As Nokia’s forecast suggests, the next few years will witness a significant phase of investment in 5G infrastructure, driven by the demand for advanced telecom equipment. This period will be crucial in shaping India’s telecom landscape, paving the way for a digital future that is inclusive, innovative, and interconnected. With companies like Nokia at the forefront of this transformation, the rise of 5G in India is set to usher in a new era of digital empowerment and economic growth.

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