5G in India: Where do we stand?

We have covered pretty much what happens during a car deal. But what happens next? How do things unfold once you have signed the car dealership? For starters, whatever queries and concerns you may now have are going to be directed to the finance company from now onwards, not the dealer.

By 2025, India will be the second-largest smartphone market in the world, and there will be 38 million 5G connections and 1 billion smartphone connections. Considering that India is one of the most populous nations in the world, the need for high-speed internet connection will rise. 5G has the potential to bring a digital revolution in India that will impact almost every field in the county. According to a report by GSMA, 5G will impact various industries, including healthcare, education, manufacturing, agriculture, financial, and social sectors.

Hence, India must invest in 5G technology. The Indian government, through the Department of Telecom (DoT), introduced the National Digital Communications Policy (NDCP) to encourage private sectors to invest in the technology.

According to Bharti Enterprise, India is still 12 to 18 months away from 5G.

DoT has focused on research projects to introduce standards for 5G technology. In 2016, there were more than ten market players in the mobile industry, which included Airtel (Bharti Airtel), Idea Cellular, Vodafone, BSNL, Aircel (Maxis), Tata DOCOMO, Telenor, and others. Through mergers and acquisitions, the market has consolidated. It means that telecommunication companies are more willing to invest in 5G technology. In 2018, there were four key players, which include Vodafone, Airtel, Reliance Jio, and BSNL.

Through the promotion of partnership and innovation, a collaborative environment for the academia and industry experts has come into formation. Telecommunication companies and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) are carrying out pilot tests and feasibility studies to identify the challenges that the country faces for 5G deployment. In addition to this, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is defining the framework for spectrum management and allocation for 5G networks. Moreover, there are plans to install more fiber wires. The government also plans on imposing concessions on imports, including products and services.

Barriers to the adoption of 5G technology in India

Despite the promise that the mobile phone industry has shown, and the potential for growth of the industry, the deployment of 5G technology faces some barriers.

Lack of policies

Since 5G is a new technology and still in testing stages, there is a lack of regulatory framework and policies that could help speed up its deployment. Moreover, there is no uniform policy which can supplement the widespread adoption of 5G in India. Due to complex procedures, 5G adoption across various states is not happening at the same rate.

Organizations in the private sector need to invest in the growth of 5G in the country. However, for this to be possible, the government needs to lax their policies and regulations. For example, the price of the 5G spectrum proposed by the Indian government was 4.92 billion INR. This amount was considered too high by the industry. According to Rajan Mattews, Director General of the Cellular Operations of India, the price of the 5G spectrum recommended by “India’s telecom regulator is much higher compared to Germany, South Korea, or the UK.” Although the government does not plan to generate revenue from this, it goes on to show the barriers that telecommunication companies currently face.

Lack of infrastructure

According to Deloitte, an additional investment of USD 60 to 70 billion is required to “seamlessly implement 5G networks.” The reason why 5G has increased connectivity is that it has small and dense network cells. However, this means that more infrastructure is required to provide 5G connectivity on a large scale. So the drawback is that the infrastructure cost is high. Telecommunication companies don’t have enough capital to invest in 5G technology. It could take years before 5G networks are available for the country at large.

In addition to this, the network densification process is challenging. Since 5G uses infrastructure such as street lamps, traffic lights, and bus stops to create small network cells and improve connectivity, large-scale deployment of the technology is necessary. There are challenges with this as well.

Moreover, there is a lack of fiber connections, which is an essential component of 5G networks. According to the Economic Times, 20% of the country’s telecom towers are connected with fiber. For successful 5G deployment, 70-80% of the towers need to be joined by fiber cables. Currently, there is 1.5 million km of fiber wire in the country. India expects to install 2.5 million fiber wire by 2022.

Financial Outlook

The Indian mobile market has seen growth in the number of subscribers of 4G and users of mobile phones. The substantial increase in 4G subscribers shows promise for the adoption of 5G. However, the market has not experienced an increase in revenue. There has been a decline in mobile market revenue since 2016, according to the report by GSMA. However, last year, the market stabilized somewhat due to the increase in revenue for Reliance Jio.

The decline in market revenue may discourage chief players from investing in 5G technology in the country unless the market shows some promise.

Market Readiness

Market readiness includes factors, such as the maturity of the mobile industry, consumer demands, and the development of technology. Currently, there are low levels of adoption of 4G, but it is rapidly increasing. Hence, the market readiness for 5G isn’t as mature as it needs to be. Moreover, incidents such as delays in spectrum allocation and its sale take the country further behind in the race for 5G technology.

International Pressure

Many tech companies, such as Huawei, have shown an interest in the Indian 5G market. The recent deal signed between Huawei and India will push forward the country’s development of 5G. Huawei sees India as a market for growth in 5G. The company is trying to develop its market in India, while countries such as the US, Australia, and New Zealand have banned Huawei from conducting business in their countries. In addition to this, the US has shown concerns that Huawei could use “backdoors” to obtain confidential information. Huawei has claimed that there is no backdoor agreement with India.

Pressure from the international community could be a deterrent to the development of 5G technology in the country. Hence, the country faces pressure to appease allies while being committed to continuing the development of 5G technology for its future.

Experts claim that it can “usher an era of major societal transformation.” There is no doubt that 5G will change the way we communicate and interact. It will not only impact the telecommunication industry with a high-speed connection, but it will also influence other industries such as education and healthcare. Hence, it is apt to say that 5G will transform our lives in unprecedented ways.

So, here are a few things you need to bear in mind after signing the car lease agreement.

Deals Are Not Signed on Trial

You should know that there is no grace period or a return policy once you have signed your contract. A deal is a deal, and you cannot cancel it no matter if you are the buyer or the seller. A contract is legal and binding. But if you have reason to believe that there have been few errors of omission or some other mistake, contact the dealer and your leasing company right away.

If you have to end your car lease, it’s better to wait. Because it is going to be very expensive to terminate a car lease early.

How about moving your car?

If you plan to move during the time of your car lease, know that various car lease contracts prevent you from doing that. Most of the car lease agreements restrict you from moving your cars out of the country. Make sure that you read the fine print in your contract.

If you move to another state along with your vehicle, it is not a major issue. But, it could impact your payments and could increase or decrease them due to the different sales tax rates between the two states. It is essential to inform your lease company when you move so they can make the required adjustments.

In case of an accident

You should inform your lease and insurance company in case of loss or theft. If the damages occurred are repairable, your insurance will cover it after subtracting your deductible. See that you get the repairs from a reputable shop, which does quality work and also uses OEM parts. Or else you would have to pay for the repairs when you return your vehicle after the lease term ends.

If your car was stolen or totaled, the insurance company will pay for the damages to the lease company for the vehicle after cutting the deductible that you are going to pay. Know that the insurance is only going to cover the current value of the vehicle, not the sum you own on your lease, which could be more.

Unless you have GAP insurance or you are allowed some slack from the lease contract, you would have to pay the difference, which could be a large amount. Most of the modern car lease agreements come with a waiver clause that lets you off easy. But check first to be sure.

Some states also offer diminished value laws that entail auto insurance companies to compensate the vehicle owners for lower resale value due to accidents even after repairs. This payment has to go to the lease company, but if you want to purchase the vehicle when the lease ends, you will get the credit. Contact your lease to find out how they handle this situation.

Insurance information about your leased car

It is a prerequisite of car lease contracts that you carry insurance on the leased vehicle. And naming the company as an additional insured. The level of coverage could generally be a bit more than you would usually carry on a vehicle you own.

If you fail to carry the specified amount of coverage, it violates your contract. Here is an approximate amount of coverage:

  • In case of bodily injury, not less than $100,000/$300,000 (single/multiple people)
  • In case of combined bodily Injury/property damage, not less than $500,000 per accident
  • For deductibles, no more than $1000 for collision and no more than $1000 for comprehensive
  • For property damage – not less than $50,000

As leasing requires more amount than your average amount of coverage, do some research on insurance companies for the best rates. The best way to do get free rate quotas is from the provider’s websites directly.

Keep an eye on that mileage

When you get a car on a lease, take care of your mileage. See that you don’t end up exceeding your limit by the time your lease term ends. Say you have an annual limit of 12000 miles, in that case, you should not be driving more than 1000 miles per month, which amounts to a total of 36000 miles for a lease of 3 years.

If you think that you are driving too many miles, then try to cut back, and bring it in line with the allowed limit. Or you will have to pay for the excess miles when your lease ends. An easy way to do so is swapping your car with someone who does not drive much, or you can even rent a vehicle if you are planning for a road trip. If you think you won’t be successful in staying within your mileage limits, know that automobile miles do not come for free, no matter if you are buying, leasing, or renting.

Canceling your car lease only because of exceeding the mileage limit is not wise. It is going to be very expensive, and you would still pay for the miles you are going to drive in any new vehicle. So, come in terms with the fact that you have to pay for exceeding the mileage limit. So, it is better that you begin to put money aside for this. But, if you end up buying the leased vehicle at the end of the lease term, you can avoid the mileage fees.

Hold Up Your Part of the Agreement

It is your responsibility that you maintain your vehicle, carry the specified amount of insurance and see that you are regular in making the payments as per the lease agreement. Pay the taxes as per government requirement.

Avoid making any changes and modifications to your vehicles and repair any damages/fines/fees that might occur. Do not allow any unlicensed drivers to drive your car and do not drive while you are drunk. If you fail to do so, it could violate the lease contract. You don’t have to get your car’s maintenance by a dealer, but see that a professional does the job. Keep records for any need in the future.

If bad luck strikes

If you were unlucky to get a vehicle that has technical issues that just keep coming, know that lease contracts do not provide for the return of the vehicle and getting you your money. This is classified as a lemon. Most of the states have established laws for such scenarios to apply on leased vehicles along with purchased vehicles.

Last Words

Car leasing is a hassle-free and cost-effective means of getting your set of wheels for most. Most people want to go for car leasing for their next car. Many car leasing customers of today have been doing it for many years.

Those who came across issues with leasing are usually those who fail to grasp the concept of leasing and its works or were just not the right candidates like, driving too many miles per year. It is only for the car leasing failed to come off as a viable option. Otherwise, car leasing is a preferred means to get a vehicle for the majority of people.