IT major Cyient on Thursday said it is seeing "significant acceleration" in 5G rollouts, and telecom carriers are bringing forward their investment plans to roll out network for the high-speed service.

Cyient Senior Vice President and Head (Communications and Utilities) Prabhakar Atla said Communications is one of the company's largest business verticals and is an area of strategic focus.

"Our proposition and contribution to all our clients and industry is around three things. It is around intelligent infrastructure design, smart operations, and enterprise network efficiency. We see significant investments in the communications and infrastructure network space," he said at the CXO Cyience Series.

Citing the example of Europe, Atla said USD 1 billion worth of investments are expected to be made towards upgrading and creating new infrastructure in the mobile space, and another USD 250 billion will be invested (in the next 3-5 years) to connect millions of homes in Europe in a fiber based broadband rollout.

"...(we see) a significant acceleration of 5G rollouts. 5G rollouts were always a part of the plan that many carrier providers had in the past, but in the current year, we are seeing a significant lift shift of all those plans. Whatever investments and rollouts were planned in the next and the following year, we're seeing a significant lift shift of it from the next year to the current year or for the next 12 months," Atla said.

Atla noted that the pandemic has taught many enterprises to appreciate the networks as critical assets for organisational functioning, and therefore, network resilience is becoming a key focus area in the current world.

"We're seeing increased focus on autonomous operations given how the pandemic has shaped the way the workflow is happening across the globe...(however) this is yet to translate into seriousness in terms of 5G readiness planning or technology readiness planning as a part of the enterprise architecture," Atla said.

Cyient works across four continents with 80 clients in its Communications business.

Wido Van De Mast, CEO of VolkerWessels Telecom said 5G rollout is a huge opportunity for enterprises and will lead to shedding waste in the value chain.

"...smart and intelligent technology for infrastructure means it should be easy to operate and have open access to everybody and should be secure enough to maintain a balance between security and open network. And at the end, intelligent infrastructure should improve the quality of your life and must reduce the waste in the chain and help you instead of hindering you," he added.

Pat Coxen, MD Strategy and Transformation at BT noted that criticality of seamless connectivity will be a key trend for 2021. He said the connected elements of lives will grow across all interactions - be it around health, wellbeing, security, training, learning and others.

"AI (artificial intelligence) and IoT (Internet of Things) will lead to richer and more immersive experiences for consumers. Businesses need to build for simplicity, ease of access and ease of use. So the big shift in mindset will be away from effectiveness and designing for performance, safety, security and availability," he said.

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