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  • Laurence Russell

Research suggests India is the new epicentre of the 5G network rollout, says HANetf

India has boosted its digital infrastructure by commencing the rollout of 5G services to select cities, and it plans to soon implement the network access countrywide.


India recently rolled out 5G services to 13 cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata. The network providers include Bharti Airtel, which aims to cover 5000 towns and cities with 5G by March 2024, and Reliance Jio, that is targeting coverage of the entire country by December 2023.


India is expected to become the world’s most populated country by next year, and over 69% of them currently inhabit rural areas—areas that are a vital component in the economic expansion of the nation. The advent of 5G is expected to allow these areas to experience accelerated growth by providing new opportunities in construction, tourism, education, and employment. Businesses will now be able to operate from beyond the densely populated cities, bringing jobs to the newly connected rural regions.


India’s 5G rollout continues a trend of rapid adoption of the new network, with 85% of the global population expected to gain access to the network by the end of 2028.


In advanced economies, the groundwork is now being laid for 6G. South Korea has shared that it targets 2028 for its first 6G network launch, and China’s ZTE has reportedly begun testing technology thought to be critical for 6G. U.S. 6G goals are leaning on Ericsson and Nokia (NOK), while Europe has funded €250 million under Horizon Europe which will fund initial 6G investments. Not to be left out, India’s Prime Minister Modi has called for 6G services to launch in the country by 2030.


Investors can gain access to the expansion of digital infrastructure, and the global 5G rollout, through the Digital Infrastructure and Connectivity UCITS ETF (DIGI).


DIGI provides exposure to the explosive growth of the digital infrastructure virtuous cycle of expanding data, applications, and bandwidth that drives exponential network growth and development of new technologies.


DIGI follows an index comprised of publicly listed global equities that support the following six key functions: data centres; data networks; digital connectivity; digital transmission; digital processing; and digital solutions and IP.


Chris Versace, fund manager for the Digital Infrastructure and Connectivity UCITS ETF (DIGI), comments: “Despite the march higher in interest rates and concerns over a potential economic recession in 2023, global 5G subscriptions are remaining on track to top 1 billion by the end of this year, two years faster than 4G’s pace. We are also anticipating healthy double-digit growth in in North America, Europe, and Northeast Asia, but 5G in India and other emerging markets is slotted to grow even faster.”



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