June 19, 2024

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Manufacturing, healthcare, education verticals to adopt 5G in big way: Industry, ET Telecom

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NEW DELHI: Manufacturing, healthcare, and education are among the top sectors that are going to adopt fifth-generation or 5G-driven use cases in a major way in India, according to executives of Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and Ericsson, as well as, industry experts.

“Ericsson did an extensive study in India. So, the top segments that we thought of were healthcare, manufacturing, and education. But we are missing two. One is public safety and energy & mining,” said Ng Thiaw Seng, Head of Network Solutions – Strategic Network Evolution Market Area South East Asia, Oceania & India, Ericsson.

“5G has higher bandwidth and low latencies. We have a lot of use cases getting developed like education and healthcare, especially in a country like India. How do we (expand the) reach of quality education to far more rural areas where the teachers are not available? Likewise, healthcare,” said Mohan Raju, Vice President & Vertical Head – IoT, Jio Platforms Limited.

The telecom market leader is making significant progress in telemedicine for India and Bharat (rural India) by enabling use cases with made-in-India devices and technology stack, particularly for remote diagnostics. “We at Jio are enabling these kinds of remote diagnostics with our devices, where a doctor in Gangaram Hospital in Delhi, can facilitate a diagnostic remotely with these kits,” he said, adding that 5G-connected ambulance is also a focus area.

The executives were speaking during a panel discussion on ‘Monetisation: Making 5G Work for Enterprise Verticals’ at the recently concluded ETTelecom 5G|6G Congress 2024.

“With 5G being available and also backhauling on to 4G to 5G, some of these services can start right from when the patient is onboarded onto the ambulance. This needs a lot of technology stack and we are enabling this gear for the stack right here made in India…we are driving this entire chain with ambulance partners,” Raju said.

Ravjot Singh Arora, Co-Founder of Medulance Healthcare said the medical emergency service provider has been able to deploy 10-15 5G-connected across Chennai, Hyderabad, and other cities. Nearly two years ago, the company had launched the first 5G ambulance in partnership with Jio, he said.

“We have been able to save many lights through that channel. We save that crucial 20 minutes (of golden hour). And that 20 minutes can be a matter of life for many people,” Arora said.

Divya Sethi, EVP & Business Head – Enterprise, Vodafone Idea (Vi), echoed similar views, saying 5G can impact healthcare sector in three distinct ways – the latest generation networks can help extend the reach of patient care to rural regions; 5G-connected ambulances can be deployed to administer critical care on the way to the hospital; and, telcos can work with hospitals to make their premises 5G-ready.

“We have seen these use cases happening abroad and its adoption in India can also be here and now itself. These are the three ways we feel that 5G can really impact,” Sethi said.

Arun Goyal, CIO, of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said the onset of 5G is helping the hospital offer telemedicine and remote consultation services to its patients, which was not possible in the Covid-19 period. “But the technology improved, and we can provide telemedicine. People in remote areas are adopting it. Secondly, 5G is helping us provide the radiology reports, etc., to the patients. Earlier, we were not able to provide the radiology reports to the patient online,” he said.

“Manufacturing is all about people, how we can give a safe environment and condition to our people is very important. We have heavy equipment moving and we have heavy structures. A lot of sensors are being mounted, which are giving real-time health of these structures. We would need 5G networks to show data in real-time and we can share information regarding the health of these equipment and take timely action. People working inside pits can wear wearable smartbands. If we get good networks, we would be able to assure that they are safe,” said Vandita Agarwal, IoT Head, Maruti Suzuki India Limited.

“The technology that is provided by Ericsson and supplied to Jio and also the rest of the operators, can in turn, make the use cases that you (industry) require, then the monetisation can start to happen,” said Seng.

According to the Swedish telecom gear maker, 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) is a major application that can, in India, bridge the digital divide in areas not covered by fixed broadband, and bring high speeds to consumers.

“In terms of 5G use case, we need remote labs and virtual labs. With 5G, it (universities) can do better than the existing technology. 5G can drive the remote labs and virtual classrooms between the students and teacher. Even with a virtual classroom site, I can control the equipment remotely. Another thing is the campus network 5G which we can create,” said Subbarao Boddu, Professor, Mahindra University.

Prashant Singhal, Senior Partner at EY, who moderated this panel discussion said 5G-connected ambulance is an important use case, as well as, the uses of 5G networks in the education sector.

  • Published On Mar 19, 2024 at 04:20 PM IST

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