Huge demand for data hungry services will make the transition to 5G a necessity for Indian telcos

5G services in India could be rolled out as early as 2020 according to Ericsson.

Demand for 5G will be fuelled by shifting market dynamics, as consumption of data heavy services outstrips demand for voice calls.

In an interview with the Economic Times, Ericsson’s chief technology officer, Erik Ekudden, said that mobile data in India is expected to continue to expand rapidly in the coming years.

"The traffic growth and demand on networks will create a fierce battle among telcos, like in the other developing markets," he predicted.

Ericsson forecasts that average monthly data traffic per smartphone in India will increase from 1.5 Gb to 4.5Gb by 2020. Total data traffic on India’s networks is projected to grow to 2,500 Petabytes, an increase from just 115 Pb in 2014.

In other Ericsson news this week, the company filed a patent application for technologies that will underpin its 5G networks across the globe.  

"[The patent application] contains everything you need to build a complete 5G network, from devices, the overall network architecture, the nodes in the network, methods and algorithms. It also shows how to connect all this together into one fully functioning network," said Dr. Stefan Parkvall, principal researcher at Ericsson.

"The inventions in this application will have a huge impact on industry and society: they will provide low latency with high performance and capacity. This will enable new use cases like the Internet of Things, connected factories and self-driving cars," he added.

Ericsson has invested significant amounts of manpower into the development of its 5G capabilities. The patent application combines the work of 130 Ericsson inventors and is believed to be the largest patent application submitted by a telecoms company anywhere in the world.