5G Technology Rollout: The Standing Committee on Information Technologywas informed that 5G will roll out in India to some extent for specific uses, by the end of the calendar year 2021 or beginning of 2022.
5G Key Features: 5G technology is expected to deliver improved user experience in terms of data download rates (expected to be 10 times that of 4G), up to three times greater spectrum efficiency, and ultra-low latency.
Applications in Trials: Applications such as tele-medicine, tele-education, augmented/virtual reality, drone-based agricultural monitoring, etc. will be tested.
The data generated during the trials will be stored in India.
Fifth Generation (5G) Technology
High Speed Technology: 5G is the fifth generation cellular technology that will increase the downloading and uploading speeds over the mobile network.
In the high-band spectrum of 5G, internet speeds have been tested to be as high as 20 Gbps (gigabits per second) as compared to the maximum internet data speed in 4G recorded at 1 Gbps.
5G will also reduce the latency i.e. the time taken by a network to respond.
Machine-to-Machine Interaction: 5G will be the first technology to facilitate machine-to-machine communication, the foundation of Internet of Things (IoT).
Therefore, it will not be easily available in rural areas too.
5G, A Niche Service: 5G will be a niche service unlike 3g and 4g which were pervasive services. It will get intensified over a comparatively longer period of time.
The rollout of 5G technology will be different from the one seen in 4g; it will be introduced in specific sectors and areas.
Inadequate Accessibility of Previous Technology: The consumers are still grappling with basic network issues like call drops and interrupted data services.
There are still areas where 4G networks have not stabilised causing frequent disruptions in internet services.
It is important to meet the quality of service parameters of existing 4G networks before embarking on a new 5G platform.
Enabling Critical Infrastructures: 5G will require a fundamental change to the core architecture of the communication system. The major flaw of data transfer using 5G is that it can't carry data over longer distances. Hence, even 5G technology needs to be augmented to enable infrastructure.
Financial Liability on Consumers: For transition from 4G to 5G technology, one has to upgrade to the latest cellular technology, thereby creating financial liability on consumers.
Bridging the Rural-urban Gap: 5G can be deployed at different band spectrums and at the low band spectrum, the range is much longer which is helpful for the rural areas.
Government’s Assistance: The government has complete control over the inputs. One of the key inputs of 5G is the band spectrum.
By managing the design of the spectrums, the government can control the price to be paid by the people.
The government shall support the telecom companies to roll out networks which are sustainable and affordable for the public.
Tackling the Spectrum Pricing Issue: The government in recent times, has had two failed auctions. The latter failed to attract any bids in the 5G spectrum.
The current proposals for the reserve price clearly suggest the need to change the prices in order to conduct a successful auction.
The pricing will have to be worked out keeping in mind the financial stress in the sector and affordability of services.
Enabling the Manufacturing Sector in India: 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
Viable Technology from Consumers’ Perspective: For widespread 5G deployment, it needs to become financially viable otherwise rural integration will remain a pipe dream.
Also, the 5G technology has to be viable to the telecom operators too.
5G Technology is expected to usher a new era in the technology sector. As far as the nationwide deployment of the technology is concerned, India still has a long way to go.
Bringing down the spectrum prices and bridging the rural-urban gap by increasing the accessibility of networks to hinterlands are a few key areas of focus.
The ultimate goal is to shift to a technology that facilitates the requirements of both the rural and urban users and the telecom sector.