What is 5G?

5G is the 5th generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks. 5G enables a new kind of network that is designed to connect virtually everyone and everything together including machines, objects, and devices.

5G wireless technology is meant to deliver higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds, ultra low latency, more reliability, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience to more users. Higher performance and improved efficiency empower new user experiences and connects new industries.

5G has huge transformational potential across industries with its services-based, cloud-native architecture and higher-frequency bands that enable a greater amount of data to be transmitted in real time.

Why 5G technology is significant?

  • The high-speed 5G technology will transmit data at least 10 times faster than the current 4G system. This is going to be a significant step towards revolutionizing the tech world in the near future.

  • 5G also uses shorter wavelengths, which means that antennas can be much smaller than existing antennas while still providing precise directional control. We’ll be able to beam ultra-fast data to a lot more users, with high precision and little latency.

  • High speed and minimal delay offered by the network will promote digital wallet transactions.

  • Inter connectivity between smart devices will become extremely efficient and real-time, thereby enhancing the standard of living for urban people.

  • The introduction of 5G technology will increase the role of automation in company operations. This takes India one step closer to technological advancements such as driver less cars, commercial use of augmented reality, new manufacturing units, and eventually, a balance between human and machine-driven workforce.

  • Applications such as tele-medicine, tele-education, augmented/virtual reality, drone-based agricultural monitoring, etc. will give much needed impetus to the economy.

  • 5G enables Internet of Things (IoT) to commercially combine with large-scale industries such as shipping, manufacturing, health, logistics, etc. IoT based machines will foster increased efficiency and scalable operations thereby improving cost-benefit ratio for the company and opportunities for introducing new products in the market.

The process of conducting 5G Trials has begun in India. Telecom service providers have been asked to conduct 5G trials in rural & semi-urban areas as well. 5G technology is expected to deliver greater spectrum efficiency and better download speeds. A global telecom industry body expects India to have 920 million unique mobile subscribers by 2025, which will include 88 million 5G connections.

Challenges in adoption of 5G technology in India:

  • There is little domestic R&D on 5g technology.

  • Fast internet also increases the vulnerability of cyber systems and the dangers of data theft.

  • 5G will not bridge the digital divide among the rural and urban areas in the short term, rather increase it as the business case of 5G even in urban areas does not have maximum accessibility.

  • Affordability may be an issue. The country’s 5G ecosystem is underdeveloped and cost of spectrum is exorbitant. Moving to 5G will also require upgrading the infrastructure which will add to the cost. From the consumer point of view, not many 5G devices are available in India and the country does not have domestic capacity or capability to develop such at this point of time.

Making India 5G Ready-Report of the 5G High Level Forum

Way forward with 5G Technology in India:

  • 5G can be deployed at different band spectrum and at the low band spectrum, the range is much longer which is helpful for the rural areas.

  • Government support would be required indigenous technology to upgrade the existing infrastructure to 5G standards.

  • As 5G starts taking shape in India, it is important to strengthen its domestic telecommunication manufacturing market so that it is not only the users of 5G in India, but also the manufacturers and providers of these technologies who will be able to make a mark in the global arena

5G Technology is expected to usher a new era in the technology sector. The ultimate goal is to shift to a technology that facilitates requirements of both the rural and urban areas and India has a long way to go.

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