After China marked its entry to 5G technology, there have been efforts globally to shift to a 5G network. This faster network makes global communication and market easy. The 5G technology establishes a high speed, mobile, safe and widespread new generation information infrastructure. India plans to launch Indigenous 5G as part of PM’s Atmanirbhar under the Digital India project. India has banned Chinese apps and blocked its hardware supply chains to protect India’s business and security interests. Scientists and industries are working together to bring 5G technology quicker than getting intertwined in policy processes & bureaucratic rifts. The fast implementation of 5G technology can make India an excellent alternative to China. The private telecom companies in India have been urging the DoT to plan a clear strategy of spectrum allocation and 5G frequency bands to plan the services accordingly.
5G or fifth generation is the next-generation wireless cellular technology that provides faster and more reliable communication with ultra-low latency. It is the latest update in long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband networks. It is more capable than previous mobile services with more capacity, low cost, faster data delivery rate, in-depth coverage, and better utilisation of spectrum.
There are three bands in 5G, which are low, mid and high-frequency spectrum. The low band spectrum has excellent network coverage and high-speed internet and data exchange, but the maximum speed is limited to 100 Mbps. The mid-band spectrum offers higher speed than the low band but is limited in terms of coverage area and penetration of signals. Industries and specialised factory units mainly use this band for building captive networks that can be shaped into particular industry needs. The high-band spectrum has the highest speed but has minimal coverage and signal penetration strength.
Features of 5G Technology
- Capability: 5G provides a much faster mobile broadband service than the previous versions and supports last services like mission-critical communication and the massive Internet Of Things (IoT).
- Upgraded LTE: 5G is the latest update in the long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband networks.
- Speed: The peak delivery rate of 5G is up to 20 Gbps and an average of 100Mbps, much faster than its predecessors. The higher speed is partly achieved by using higher-frequency radio waves than previous networks.
- Capacity: There is a 100 times increase in traffic capacity and network efficiency.
- Spectrum usage: 5G has better use for every bit of spectrum, from low bands below 1 GHz to high bands.
- Latency: 5G have lower latency with better instantaneous, real-time access of the data. The 5G uses Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM), but the new 5G NR (New Radio) air interface will enhance OFDM and better data delivery flexibility.
- Millimetre-wave spectrum: The 5G networks operate in the millimetre wave spectrum (30-300 GHz), sending large amounts of data at high speed with minimal interference from surrounding signals.
Applications of 5G technology
- High-Speed mobile network: 5G will transform the mobile experience with the supercharged wireless network. Compared to conventional mobile transmission technologies, high-speed data and voice can be transferred efficiently in 5G simultaneously.
- Entertainment and multimedia: 5G can present 120 frames per second, high resolution and higher dynamic range video streaming without interruption. This will rewrite the audiovisual experience after the implementation of the technologies with 5G wireless services. Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality services become a better experience over 5G.
- Internet of Things: IoT applications collect data from numerous devices and sensors and need an efficient network for data collection, processing, control, transmission, and real-time analytics, which 5G network is a better candidate.
- Smart cities: Smart city applications like instant weather updates, traffic management, local area broadcasting, smart power grid, energy management, smart lighting of streets, crowd management, water resource management, emergency response can use reliable 5G wireless networks for their operation.
- Smart farming: 5G technology will be used for smart agriculture in the future. Farmers can easily track the location of livestock and manage them using smart RFID sensors and GPS technology. Smart sensors can be used for access control, irrigation control, and energy management.
- Mission-critical applications: Like telemedicine services, remote control of critical infrastructure and vehicles, 5G has the potential to transform industries with reliable, low latency links.
- Better Governance: Better speed and connectivity would minimise red-tapism. It will enhance the better implementation of policies and speedy completion of projects. It enables accountability in the system through a better monitoring system and will reduce corruption.
- Employment generation: 5G wireless technology will open more significant opportunities for new device manufacturers and developers. New VoIP devices and smart devices will be developed in the market, which will create more job opportunities. This will help in inclusive growth, reaping the demographic dividends.
- Enhanced Security: 5G wireless technology is the best solution for security surveillance due to higher bandwidth and unlicensed spectrum. It will improve better coordination among different agencies. Smart appliances which can be configured and examined from remote locations, closed-circuit cameras will provide high-quality real-time video for security purposes.
- Logistics and Shipping: Logistics and shipping industry can use innovative 5G technology for goods tracking, centralised database management, fleet management, real-time delivery tracking, staff scheduling and reporting.
- Industrial Growth: Smart wireless technologies like 5G and LTE will help future industries develop advanced equipment automation, maintenance, tracking, safety, smart packing, logistics shipping, and energy management.
- Healthcare and mission-critical applications: 5G technology will support medical practitioners to perform advanced medical procedures with a reliable wireless network connected to another side of the globe. Doctors can connect with patients from anywhere and advise them when necessary. Scientists are developing smart medical devices which can perform remote surgery. Smart medical devices like wearables will continuously monitor patients’ conditions and activate alerts during emergencies.
The Hurdles in Implementing 5G Technology
- Enabling critical infrastructures: 5G requires a change to the core architecture of the communication system. The major disadvantage of using 5G is that it does not have more extended data coverage. Hence, even 5G technology needs to be expanded to enable infrastructure.
- Financial liability on consumers: To transition from 4G to 5G technology, one must upgrade to the latest cellular technology, thereby creating financial liability.
- Capital Inadequacy: Lack of adequate capital with suitable telecom companies like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea is delaying the 5G spectrum allocation.