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The Indian Mobile Sector: Growth, challenges, opportunities, & its response to Covid-19

The telecom industry in India is witnessing rapid growth. India is today the world’s second largest telecommunication market, with 1,177.02 million total subscribers as of January 2020. The telecommunications industry can be divided into three segments—mobile, wireline, and wireless (internet) services. As of January 2020, the wireless market in India accounted for 98.25% of the total subscriber base, and rural subscribers comprised of 43.69% of the total telephone subscribers, according to a TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) report[1].

With ‘work from home’ becoming the new normal in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, telecom services and the internet have become vital for everyday life. The telecom sector is being used by the government to spread awareness about the pandemic, as well as to trace and track infected people to break the chain of transmission. Despite the crucial role played by the telecom sector during the period of lockdown, the pandemic has also adversely affected telecom service providers, from mobile to internet service.

The industry lost around 2.8 million subscribers during the month of March, and 8.2 million subscribers during April 2020, according to an India Ratings and Research report[2]. The telecom operators most affected were Vodafone Idea Ltd and Bharti Airtel Ltd. However, Reliance Jio witnessed an increase in its subscriber base during the same period.

India had over 500 million active internet users (they accessed the Internet in the last one month) as of May 2020, according to IBEF (India Brand Equity Foundation)[3]. Despite the downturn, telecommunications experts believe the Indian telecom market will maintain steadiness, thanks to the dynamic nature of the industry.

According to the global telecom industry body GSMA, India is expected to become the second-largest smartphone market globally by 2025, with around one billion installed devices. The report also said India is expected to have 920 million unique mobile subscribers by 2025, which will include 88 million 5G connections. The social distancing measures due to the pandemic have led to higher dependence on digital tools, like video conferencing and webinars, which in turn has increased the demand for telecom services. However, the telecom sector is also facing some major hurdles due to the pandemic, government regulations and customer acquisition.

Apart from inadequate internet penetration, there is a significant gap in user subscription of mobile sim cards. The estimates, according to the GSMA Report 2020, indicate that there is 78% mobile connection penetration across the country. It is a common occurrence for people to have more than one sim card. So, we can infer that in 2019, for every 100 persons, around 78 of them had sim connections. This does not mean that they all used smartphones or availed of internet facility. The smartphone adoption in 2019 stands at 67%, 4G use at 56%, 3G at 11%, while there is a strikingly large figure for 2G use— at 33%, according to GSMA report 2019[4].

Even as the world is moving towards 5G, in India the usage of 4G internet has not been optimal. There is huge scope for digitalisation in our country provided these services are properly utilised. The paper analyses the current standing of the mobile industry in India. Primarily looking at the GSMA 2020 and IBEF reports, the paper attempts to understand the growth, opportunities, challenges of the mobile sector in India, including the emergence of 5G technology. The paper also attempts to analyse the telecom industry’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

[1] Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) 2020;

[2] Economic Times;

Telecom industry loses 82 lakh subscribers in April, pressure to continue: Report;

[3] IBEF Report

[4] The State of Mobile Internet Connectivity 2019;

Date: 23rd November 2020
Author: Meghna
Reviewer: Ritu Srivastava

Focus Areas: Digital Access
What We Do: Research & Advocacy
Resource Type: Research Analysis

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India’s Rural Health Infrastructure: Time to fulfil the lack of the need

India’s public health infrastructure remains woefully lacking, with little having changed in the 73 years since Independence. India’s GDP spending on building healthcare is very little. Though the country’s expenditure on healthcare has shot up substantially in the past few years, it is still very low in comparison to other nations. Public expenditure on healthcare as a percentage of GDP for 2017-18 was a mere 1.28 percent. Total healthcare spending in the country, including the private sector, rose to 3.6 percent of GDP in 2016, but even this is very low compared with other countries. The average for OECD countries in 2018 was 8.8 percent of GDP, while healthcare expenditure in developed countries like the US was 16.9 percent; for China, it was 5 percent, for both Germany and France it was 11.2 percent, and for Japan, it was 10.9 percent.[1]

The current COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that building health infrastructure is the need of the hour. It has put the spotlight on the severe gaps in our healthcare system because of which the lives of hundreds and thousands were negatively impacted. Another factor to note is the unequal distribution of facilities. The national capital Delhi particularly has the highest number of hospitals in comparison to its population and size. There are 9 SDH and 47 DH functioning in Delhi[2]. Only three states, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Uttar Pradesh (UP), and Odisha, have a higher number of functioning District Hospitals than Delhi. The health facilities in Delhi are also better, as it is the nation’s capital. It is apparent that importance was given to building healthcare facilities in Delhi, much more than in the other areas. It is a common sight to see people from neighboring states coming to Delhi to get treatment. This unequal distribution of resources has been only increasing.

The number of SCs in rural areas are functioning without HW(F) and HW(M). In Rajasthan, 63.8% of SCs do not have female health workers. In the northeast region, Mizoram and Sikkim, have HW(F) in all SCs, whereas Arunachal Pradesh has the highest percentage of SCs functioning without both and the percentage stands at 23.7%. Digital infrastructure is not properly developed in few states located in the hilly regions. It is noteworthy that Manipur, Odisha, and Telangana have a very well developed digital infrastructure.

This paper aims to analyse the Rural Health Statistics of 2018-19 highlighting current rural health infrastructure and how it varies from state to state. The paper also focuses on the gaps that exist in the digital infrastructure. To begin with, the pre-existent system will be discussed, and then the changes that Ayushman Bharat brought in will be stressed on.

[1] Samrat Sharma, ‘India spending more on healthcare now, but yet not as much as others; here’s how much US, China spend’, Financial Express, 8 April 2020,

[2] Table 7, Section 4, Rural Health Statistics

Date: 28 September 2020
Author: Meghna
Reviewer: Ritu Srivastava

Focus Area: Health
What We Do: Research & Advocacy
Resource Type: Research Analysis

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Why 2 Mbps is not sufficient for telemedicine in rural India?

The COVID-19 crisis has changed how people access medical care and has ushered in the new era of telemedicine. Almost overnight, patients stopped going to hospitals and are, instead, receiving medical care through various online platforms.

New Delhi-based Sitaram Bharti Hospital immediately started telehealth consultation service and emergency ambulance service as soon as the Government of India announced nationwide lockdown due to COVID-19 outbreak. Likewise, Aravind Eye Care Systems in Madhurai could set up a make-shift telehealth consultation option on their hospital website in just two days. On 22 March, a team of 18 doctors at Aravind Eye Care Systems was ready to take the patients’ calls from six different locations across South India. The high number of patients who wanted telehealth consultation service resulted in the hospital setting up parallel windows in each of their eight branches using Google Hangout. It was a right move in the anticipation of a bigger lockdown that was announced a couple of days later. Similarly, Nagarajan Ramakrishnan, a sleep medicine specialist, and director at Nithra Institute of Sleep Sciences, Chennai, is also treating his patients remotely.

At a time when physical distancing is among the major measures used to fight COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face consultation poses a very serious risk to both patients and doctors. Under these circumstances, remote consultations over the phone or video calls is a new way to help patients get access to healthcare services. On 25 March, the Government of India issued a set of guidelines for telemedicine or remote delivery of medical services [1]. The guideline legitimises the practice of remote consultations.

This is the situation of the urban scenario where telehealth consultations are available and have enough internet bandwidth to extend their capacity for such consultations. But what about rural India that needs healthcare services the most? Are the health centres in rural India with limited healthcare resources providing telehealth facilities during COVID-19?

First, it is important to understand the structure of the rural public health system. It is a tiered structure. At the bottom of the pyramid are health sub-centres, catering to a population of 3,000 to 5,000 each, covering roughly five villages. These health sub-centres are usually manned by an Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (ANM) whose focus is on primitive and preventive healthcare services and to act as a referral to the primary health centres (PHCs) for curative services. PHCs are the first base for doctors, acting as referral units for six health sub-centres. PHCs act as a core and connected to community health centres (CHCs), followed by sub-district and district hospitals. There are over 1.5 health sub-centres, 25, 000 community health centres and 5000 public health centres in India. At the apex, there are medical colleges and advanced research institutes such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences.

This tired structure looks impressive at first glance; however, the system is broken for large segments of the Indian population. According to Rural Health Statistics by the Ministry of Health & Welfare Services[2] only 11% sub-centres, 13% PHCs and 16% CHCs meet the Indian Public Health Standards. Moreover, a doctor-patient ratio is 1:2000 in India, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). This means that six lakh villages where 70% of India’s population lives, the number of doctors is only a fourth of those in urban areas.

Thus, in times of COVID-19 crisis, adopting virtual healthcare approaches in rural health centres is essential. However, telemedicine is still a struggling concept in the countryside and even district-level healthcare centres are not able to do so.

Ostensibly, the National Teleconsultation Centre (CoNTeC)[3], an acronym for COVID-19 National Teleconsultation Centre launched by Union Minister of Health & Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan on 28 March 2020, is not meeting the requirements fully. CoNTeC has eight regional zones, establishing internet connection between medical colleges connected through the National Medical College Network (NMCN) with its National Resource Centre located at SGPGI, Lucknow. Presently, 50 medical colleges are registered under NMCN. It is reported that these medical colleges are connected through the National Knowledge Network (NKN) to provide telemedicine facilities.

However, these medical colleges are not connected with district hospitals and CHCs, which are located in the rural parts of the country. With 159 internet service providers in India, the broadband penetration in rural parts of the country is yet less than 16%, according to TRAI.

According to the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) for PHCs, CHCs, sub-district and district hospitals, the internet connectivity is provided for MIS (Management Information System)[4] and not telehealth services. The minimum internet speed allocated to district health centres is 2 Mbps to connect the doctor with the patient via video call. But this also is not available in most of the villages. As a result, the video quality turns out to be bad when district doctors try to connect with patients or health staff members. It thus becomes difficult to organise telehealth consultations. 2

Different sets of healthcare applications need different connection speeds. Table 1 below provides some applications that represent samples of activities typical of healthcare facilities of approximate download times to complete the transmission and download times at different network speeds. Individual healthcare facilities may use all, some, or none of these in addition to other network uses required for their operations (Hu, Wang, & Wu, 2006)[5].

Table 1. File size, transmission and download times at different connection speeds

 File type and size Network transmission speed
Type Size 4 Mbps 10 Mbps 20 Mbps 50 Mbps
High Definition Video


1.9 MBs 23.8








Tele-Pathology 3 MBs 2.3








Tele-Diabetic Retinopathy


5 MBs 6.2








Mammography 160 MBs 5 minutes 2 minutes 1 minute 24.4 seconds
MRI study 200 MBs 6.3 minutes 2.5 minutes 1.2 minutes 30.5 seconds

According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recommendations, the following minimum bandwidth speeds are required to support electronic health record (EHR) system (Table 2) [6].

Table 2. Recommended bandwidth for healthcare providers

Healthcare service Bandwidth speed Services
Single Physician Practice 4 Mbps
  • Supports practice management functions, email, and web browsing
  • Allows simultaneous use of electronic health record (EHR) and high-quality video consultations
  • Enables non real-time image downloads
  • Enables remote monitoring
Small Physician Practice

(2-4 physicians)

10 Mbps
  • Supports practice management functions, email, and web browsing
  • Allows simultaneous use of EHR and high-quality video consultations
  • Enables non real-time image downloads
  • Enables remote monitoring
  • Makes possible use of HD video consultations
Rural Health Clinic 10 Mbps
  • Supports clinic management functions, email, and web browsing
  • Allows simultaneous use of EHR and high-quality video consultations
  • Enables non real-time image downloads
  • Enables remote monitoring
  • Makes possible use of HD video consultations


Tables 1 and 2 clearly indicate that a 2 Mbps connection is not sufficient enough to provide all sorts of telemedicine services such as tele-radiology, tele-surgery, tele-ophthalmology, tele-pathology and tele-ICU services. The absence of infrastructure, internet connectivity, and lack of sufficient technical staff members and medical personnel have impeded the progress of telemedicine in rural parts of the country.

Stimulation wireless network model for telemedicine facility in rural health centres

One way to deal with the bandwidth issue is to create a wireless mesh network that can connect three to five medical colleges with a district health centre. The topology of the network requires that every terminal be connected to every other terminal in the network. The topology incorporates a unique network design in which each hospital on the network connects to every other, creating a point-to-point connection between every device on the network. The purpose of the design is to provide a high level of redundancy. If one network cable fails, the data always has an alternative path to get to its destination and the district health centre and replicating it further to CHCs and PHCs.

Another approach could be to estimate the unused bandwidth available in the region which can further be used for connecting district health centres. Depending upon the availability of the network, different models can be adopted.

Other suggestions that the government can consider are to allocate high-speed wireless frequency band of unused spectrum (V band or 60 GHz, which is like short-range wireless optic fibre) and TV White space for the telemedicine facility and to be used for community services.

To sum up, the coronavirus crisis has made the need for high-speed, reliable internet clear. The current isolation period is a gentle reminder to authorities concerned about the necessity of an adequate internet connectivity and higher bandwidth in rural India that can potentially connect us and enable us to have a better healthcare facility all the time.


[1] Telemedicine Practice Guidelines;
[2] Rural Health Statistics;
[3] National Telemedicine Portal;
[4] Indian Public Health Standards;
[5] Hu et al. (2006). Mobile telemedicine sensor networks with low-energy data query and network lifetime considerations. Mobile Computing, IEEE Transactions on, 5(4), 404-417; 10.1109/TMC.2006.1599408
[6] HealthIT.Gov;

Date: 20 July 2020
Author: Ritu Srivastava

Focus Areas: Digital Health
What We Do: Research & Advocacy
Resource Type: Research Analysis

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Why India need low-cost and high-bandwidth connectivity models in a time of isolation?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic on March 11, 2020, with growing cases getting detected in over 100 countries globally. Subsequently, WHO pushed to take ‘aggressive’ on 17th March 2020 action fearing that some countries may be moving towards community transmission.

To date, 30th March 2020, there are more than 700,00 COVID-19 cases and more than 35000 deaths are reported[1]. The director-general of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in conference stressed the vulnerabilities to be faced by ill-prepared ‘weak’ countries that have poor public health systems. South Asia has seen a total of 2000 cases as of 30th March 2020 and over 1100 cases are registered in India.

The steady rise of COVID-19 cases is a huge concern for South Asian countries due to a lack of public health infrastructure and the limited availability of professionals. It can strike a crisis of very high magnitude. In response, governments, corporates, and academic institutions have not only cancelled the public events and gatherings but also closed public spaces including museums, restaurants to avoid the highly contagious pneumonia-like disease to spread from one person to another.

On March 25, the government of India announced nationwide 21 days lockdown till 14 April 2020 closing schools, offices and public transportation. In the scenario of isolation, internet connectivity has never been so important. It is critical to receive up-to-date health information and students must continue their education and working professionals to continue work from their home.

Following the footsteps of Harvard and MIT, Indian academic institutions, including IITs and IIITs also started holding virtual classrooms due to suspension of face-to-face classes. However, slow-speed and irregular connectivity are emerging issues for educational institutes before they even start online classes. For instance, Delhi University professors who are trying to conduct online classes faced the issue of connecting their students[2]. V. Sridhar, Professor at the Centre for IT and Public Policy at the International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIITB), India states even though he has two fixed-line broadband services and 4G enabled mobile connectivity, yet he feels annoyed due to miserable internet connectivity available in the country. The poor status of network infrastructure in the country is amplified due to the exponential demand for connectivity at the household level. This is a scenario of metro cities like Delhi and Bangalore, where institutions like IITs and IIITs are facing the connectivity issue.

India stands at 128 out of 140 listed countries in mobile broadband, according to Ookla Speed Test report[3]. It is even behind some of the South Asian countries, including Pakistan and Sri Lanka and African countries such as Ethiopia and Senegal. Whereas in fixed broadband, the country stands at 69 out of 176 listed countries giving average speed 39.65. India has 19 million fixed-line broadband users which include enterprises and offices and 17 million home fixed-line broadband users.

If we take a closer look at the public infrastructure that is required to be connected with internet connectivity in India. There are 15 lakh schools in the country, out of which over 8.5 lakh schools are located in rural regions. There are over 1.5 health sub-centers, 25000 community health centres and 5000 public health centres in India. Around 20% of rural regions of the country are connected through the internet and most of them are connected through mobile connectivity.

In the time of isolation when we are avoiding cash-payment systems, the lack of proper digital infrastructure including mobile connectivity and broadband communications to a large proportion of the populace makes it more difficult to address authentication challenges, card security infrastructure and last-mile connectivity of Point of Sale (POS) terminals.

Moreover, in this pandemic when thousands of migrant workers are going back home in rural regions of the country, the questions arise whether they will be able to educate their children if schools are closed and not connected through the Internet and able to get basic health facilities or medicines.

The telecom networks that support voice, telephony and broadband data services are critical infrastructures for the country like India much like electricity, water, sewage and road networks. Most of this critical telecom infrastructure is built by private firms using their capital. Though, telecom providers such as Vodafone, Airtel, BSNL, Reliance Jio to activate intra-circle roaming (ICR) and also offering increased bandwidth or data plans to maintain seamless connectivity. It is not only the major telecom providers who are seeing the data traffic spikes in their network but small operators including cable operators’ network are seeing a significant spike in data traffic and demand in new connections. However, as the data traffic will increase it will not be sufficient to cater to the demand.

The situation, however, again highlighted not only the need for deep fiberisation across the country to connect towers but also the need for small community-based network solutions to connect the communities living in far-flung areas of the country. It is the requirement of time when we need an integrated model of centralised and decentralised community-led networks, which operates in both intranet and internet methods.

There are very few community-led social enterprises working for designing or deploying wireless networks catering to rural parts of the country. AirJaldi in Dharamshala, Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF), GeoMesh Informatics in Tamil Nadu, MojoLab in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, Janastu in Tumkur, Karnataka and GramMarg in Pathardi, Maharashtra are organisations which are providing low-cost internet connectivity, enabling access to information for citizens, particularly living in rural and remote areas. These community-led network solutions are using low-cost wireless devices and unlicensed spectrum bands 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz to create community-owned and community-operated wireless networks.

These network providers are using different bottom-up approaches such as generating locally-created content, innovative pricing and marketing approaches to content are gaining traction, providing digital services to information services to sustain these networks. These networks are trying to provide affordable, ubiquitous and democratically controlled internet access in rural regions of the country.

For instance, GeoMio Mesh wireless node that connects the unconnected in the rural villages and power healthcare, education and security with modular software and services. Using two 5GHz radios and sector antennas, GeoMesh is an indoor/outdoor weatherproof 3-radios wireless mesh router that automatically forms a mesh network with another Geo Mesh router within range. GeoMio Mesh creates both intranet and internet networks. It automatically creates hot-spot using the 2.4 GHz radio and creates the local (intranet) network. Thereafter users can easily connect to the local network and if any router on the local network connects to other networks such as the Internet, then users on that local network automatically get access to the Internet through the mesh. Each mesh can relate with the others easily, including peering, allowing users of each network to reach the other network and can transit to get to other networks through one of your neighbours.

Whereas DEF’s Wireless for Communities (W4C) uses 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz unlicensed spectrum bands and low-cost wireless devices in the hub and spoke model. In the last nine years, the programme has adopted various models of engagement, ranging from the Hub-and-Spoke and Wireless on Wheels to and Internet-in-a-Box set up. These models have established 178 access nodes in 35 districts across 18 Indian states, engaging men and women equally for its installation and management. Thus, ensuring the social sustainability of the wireless community networks.

Similarly, AirJaldi started as a social, non-profit enterprise established in Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, to provide affordable and reliable Internet connectivity using unlicensed spectrum and wireless networks in rural communities. Gram Marg, an incubation of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai, uses TV white space and now Wi-Fi to provide Internet connectivity in 13 villages of Maharashtra. DEF uses low-cost wireless technology, unlicensed spectrum bands—2.4GHz and 5.8 GHz—and line of sight to support the provision of affordable, low-cost and reliable Internet services in 38 districts of the country.

Connectivity, when combined with the Wi-Fi information hub and spoke model, can help to empower communities and bring holistic development. If people have access to broadband and adequate bandwidth, they could pursue distance education through video conferencing, able to share their local indigenous content with a larger audience. By delaying access to the Internet and not enabling communities with high-speed internet connectivity, we are constantly underutilizing our potentials and, consequently, delaying economic prosperity.

It is high time for the government to take a broader decision on the health of the telecom industry, thereby need to have a new policy for rural ISPs, which can focus on serving underserved communities. Rural ISPs that can become sustainable and commercially viable entities that offer internet connectivity, digital literacy, and other digital services at prices that the bottom of pyramid consumers can afford. The situation of isolation is a polite reminder to have adequate internet connectivity and higher bandwidth that can potentially connect us and also provide economic and business continuity to some extent.

Author: Ms. Ritu Srivastava, representing Jadeite Solutions, has over 14 years of experience in the development sector specifically focusing on the ICT domain, using digital technology towards sustainable development of underprivileged communities / marginalised sections of society and over 8 years of experience in working with community networks.





Focus Areas: Gender
What We Do: Advocacy
Resource Type: Advocacy statements

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Community-led Networks for sustainable rural broadband in India: The Case of Gram Marg

To bridge the digital divide facing rural India, a cost-effective technology solution and a sustainable economic model based on community-led networks is needed. Gram Marg Rural Broadband

project at IIT Bombay, India has been working on both these aspects through field trials and test-bed deployments. It has been studied that even if the connectivity reaches rural India, without a sustainable economic model, the network would not be able to sustain itself at the village level. Our impact studies have revealed the need for community owned networks. The study reveals that villagers understood that they could save time and money with Internet connectivity at the village. However, the network was not sustainable and, for this reason, villagers suggested community-led networks would enable them to ‘own Internet’. Hence, a Public-Private-Panchayat Partnership (4-P) model was developed. In this partnership model, the Panchayat, which is the local self-government structure at the village level, takes ownership of the network. The partnership enables the network to be community-led for effective decision making and giving priority to development of services based on village needs. The public-private partnership enables Internet connectivity to reach the village from where it is taken over by the Panchayat. The investment for the network is done by Panchayat at the village level. Local youth known as Village Level Entrepreneurs (VLEs) invest, maintain the network and generate revenue. The model ensures a decent and sustainable Return-on-Investment for the Panchayat and nominal user subscription cost. It also considers expected future growth in demand and related cost dynamics. Revenue generation and sharing is an important aspect which provides incentive for Internet’s spread and expanse in the village.

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Addressing sustainability in rural connectivity: A case study of Gram Marg community-led networks

This report10 discusses the Public-Private- Panchayat Partnership (4-P) model developed and validated on the ground for its sustainability in villages where connectivity has been enabled through our project. We also discuss how the 4-P model is implemented in Gram Marg villages and generates revenue, thereby making it a sustainable model. Currently this model is working successfully in the villages in the Palghar district of Maharashtra, where internet connectivity has been enabled by Gram Marg. The first part of the report gives a short overview of Gram Marg community-led networks. In the second part of the report, the development and validation of the sustainable 4-P model will be discussed. The final section highlights relevant policy measures needed for the adoption of a sustainable model in rural connectivity.

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Towards Frugal 5G: A Case Study of Palghar Test-bed in India

There is an ongoing transition from the fourth generation (4G) cellular standard to the fifth generation (5G). Amidst this transition, addressing the connectivity needs of rural areas is still a distant dream. In this article, we discuss the connectivity requirements of rural areas and also present a network architecture based on these requirements. Low energy, low mobility, and large cell are the key aspects when designing a broadband network for rural areas. We refer to this network as the Frugal 5G network. We discuss two testbeds that we have deployed in India based on the Frugal 5G network architecture. The first testbed spanning 7 villages studies the feasibility of providing high-speed connectivity to rural areas via TV UHF band. The second testbed has been scaled up to 25 villages and studies the feasibility of connecting the rural areas by employing IEEE 802.11 (5.8 GHz) technology. Deploying such a large-scale network requires efficient planning which has also been discussed in the paper. Sustainability of the rural broadband network is an important issue and has been addressed by proposing a multi-stakeholder partnership model. Insights obtained from these testbed deployments suggest that for connectivity to be sustainable, network planning, use of renewable energy, local support & community participation, and efficient business model are the cornerstones that should be adhered to.

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TV White Space Solution for Affordable Internet in India

In addition to providing an efficient technology solution, it is important to ensure that there is a sustainable return-on-investment for the service provider and an affordable subscription price for the end user. This drives the need for a sustainable economic model. We propose a model which ensures active involvement of GPs who will eventually promote and sustain the broadband. Such a model is referred to as the 4P model, i.e., Panchayat-Public-Private-Partnership model, which is a self-sustainable model.

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