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    Budget’s 5G Push May Dial up Business Opportunities for IT Companies

    Indian IT services providers such as Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tech Mahindra, HCL Technologies, and Infosys, among others, are expected to benefit significantly from the budget’s renewed thrust on 5G technology, senior executives and industry experts said.

    The government’s plan to roll out 5G spectrum auctions and services by 2022-23 could lead to a significant jump in real-time engagements and business opportunities for these firms, which are already investing and co-innovating with telecom operators in the country, they said.

    Initial 5G deployments will be seen mainly in campus networks, manufacturing, the resources sector, and transport, the experts said.

    Solutions around 5G technology form around 8% of existing engagements for IT services firms globally.

    Accenture, Capgemini, TCS, HCL Technologies, Tech Mahindra, and Infosys are the leading IT companies in this space, according to a report from the Everest group.

    5G technology will offer opportunities in areas such as healthcare, enterprise, and manufacturing, among others, Tech Mahindra chief executive CP Gurnani told.

    “India will be a powerful nation because we are not only 5G-enabled, but the broad spectrum of the country is technology-enabled,” said Gurnani.

    Tech Mahindra, the fifth largest Indian software services provider by revenue, has done well in 5G and platforms, he said. “The company will continue to deliver 5G (services), Cloud engineering among others,” he added.

    Tech Mahindra has been bullish about 5G solutions and expects the budget announcement to benefit the sector overall.

    The company, which generates almost a third of its revenue from communication services, has been investing in co-innovation and research in this space.

    In addition to commercial 5G engagement, enterprise 5G solutions – where IT service providers can participate – will help generate $200 million worth of revenue for communication service providers (CSPs) by 2026 in India, according to tech industry research firm IDC.

    Telecom service providers like Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea (Vi) have set up 5G trial sites in all major metros such as Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Delhi along with smaller cities such as Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Pune, and Gandhinagar.

    5G technology is a key part of a fast-growing group of offerings called Industry Plus for Cognizant, said Rajesh Nambiar, managing director of Cognizant India.

    “That’s one of the groups which has grown the fastest in 2021. We are absolutely bullish on the opportunities there. It is an area that we will continue to focus on,” Nambiar said.

    IT service providers are increasing collaborations with telecom companies to tap the 5G opportunity.

    In December, Bharti Airtel and TCS announced the successful testing of use cases from TCS’ Neural Manufacturing solutions suite on Airtel’s 5G network. TCS is also exploring solutions with Indian telcos and the government to offer 5G mobile private networks.

    Globally, Indian IT service providers are working with telecom clients to offer network and consumer experience management solutions for 5G rollouts.

    As per the IDC telecom services tracker, Indian 5G connections are expected to reach around 600 million by 2025.

    Enterprises are more likely to use private 5G networks, if not settle for shared private networks, said Swathi Arunaa, senior market analyst, telco and IoT, IDC. The estimate is based on the Mobile Private Network (MPN) forecast that is currently being built by IDC.

    “Indian IT companies like TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Tech Mahindra along with Capgemini and Accenture position themselves as leading system integrators for enterprise networks,” Arunaa said.

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