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India Enters 5G Era as Debt-Laden Carriers Gird to Spend Billions

  • PM Modi kicks off service in video call to school students
  • Tycoons Ambani and Mittal are among those rolling out networks
Delegates at India Mobile Congress 2022 in New Delhi, India, on Oct. 1. 

Delegates at India Mobile Congress 2022 in New Delhi, India, on Oct. 1. 

Photographer: Prakash Singh/Bloomberg

India became the last major Asian economy to kick off a 5G network, marking a new wave of spending by indebted carriers on high-speed wireless technology that’s touted to revolutionize everything from gaming to manufacturing and health care.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi made the first 5G video call on Saturday to school students to demonstrate use of the service in education. “5G is the beginning of an infinite space of opportunities,” especially for the country’s youth, he said.