NTT, though, will not directly apply to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for a private 5G services permit or private 5G spectrum in India. It will, instead, operate in the country purely as a consultant to help enterprise clients secure private 5G permits/airwaves from the government and roll out private 5G networks for captive use.
“NTT is in talks with some of India’s biggest corporate enterprises across a host of industry verticals… our India business model for private 5G services will be in the role of a consultant, wherein, we will initially handle the paperwork to help enterprise clients get private 5G licences/spectrum once that is allowed by the Indian government,” Manoj Chitgopekar, vice president (managed network & collaboration services), NTT India, told ET.
He added that once an enterprise customer has the relevant private 5G permit and spectrum, “NTT would extend its full suite of private 5G services (including deployments) and also manage the private 5G operations for such enterprise customers in India as a service”.
NTT India-a wholly-owned arm of NTT, Japan-primarily offers IT infrastructure and data centre services, and is now readying to also offer private 5G as a managed service to enterprise clients.
Chitgopekar said NTT plans to facilitate private 5G network roll outs in restricted geographies for enterprises across a host of industry verticals such as manufacturing (including automotives), retail, healthcare, hospitality, logistics and also work with government agencies. He, though, declined to name the clients, citing non-disclosure pacts.
According to industry estimates, the potential market size of private 5G services in India is pegged at around $570 million by 2026. The segment is estimated to grow at around 35% compounded annually over the next three years.
The developments come at a time when the telecom regulator, in its 5G discussion paper, has sought industry views on whether some 5G spectrum should be set aside for private networks (for automotives and other industrial uses) and how to price such airwaves.