As India prepares to deploy 5G, RS Sharma, chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the nodal governmental agency whose job it is to facilitate its smooth roll-out, says it isn’t going to be anything like 4G. 5G, he said, will be a huge challenge requiring heavy investments.

At 13th India Digital Summit held in New Delhi earlier this year, Sharma also addressed the issue of finding ways to connect the still vastly unconnected India.

The entry of private service providers brought with it the need for regulation in India. TRAI was established in 1997 to regulate telecom services. Its stated mission is to create and nurture conditions for growth of telecommunications in the country in a manner and at a pace which will enable India to play a leading role at the global stage. TRAI regularly issues orders and directions on various subjects such as tariffs, interconnections, quality of service and direct-to-home (DTH) services. It routinely finds itself in controversies as the orders get challenged by the various telco players.