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RSTV: THE BIG PICTURE- THE 5G DEBATE


RSTV: THE BIG PICTURE- THE 5G DEBATE


Introduction:

            The debate about Huawei’s role in the 5G network rollout in India continues. This comes at a time when the government has made its intentions clear to start with the 5G trials soon. A leading newspaper reported that a high-level committee on 5G is opposed to including Chinese vendors including Huawei in the 5G trials. There is a persistent fear that equipment being sold by Chinese vendors includes a backdoor which can allow the Chinese government to access data from 5G networks. Principal scientific adviser K Vijay Raghavan, who heads a high-level committee on 5G, believes India should “go for trials immediately with all, except for Chinese vendors”. The committee includes officials from the Intelligence Bureau, ministry of external affairs, home ministry, telecom and IT ministry and the department of science & technology. This report comes just days after the US president Donald Trump lifted the trade ban on Huawei, and has asked US based companies to continue working with Huawei. In India, Huawei still doesn’t have the permissions for the 5G trials, and getting these will be crucial. The company has already made repeated assurances that it does not share any data with any entity.

The summary is limited considering exam demands.

 

What is 5G?

It is the next generation cellular technology that will provide faster and more reliable communication with ultra-low latency.

Latency is the amount of time data takes to travel between its source and destination.

A government panel report points out that with 5G, the peak network data speeds are expected to be in the range of 2-20 Gigabit per second (Gbps).

This is in contrast to 4G link speeds in averaging 6-7 Megabit per second (Mbps) in India as compared to 25 Mbps in advanced countries.

 

5G Benefits:

It will revolutionize the mobile experience, consumers will be able to download data heavy content such as 8K movies and games with better graphics in just a few seconds. But once 5G becomes commercial, users will be required to change their current devices in favour of 5G-enabled ones.

However, it is likely that the primary use of the technology will go beyond delivery of services on personal mobiles devices.

A government panel on 5G says the technology will extend the use of wireless technologies for the first time across completely new sectors of the economy from industrial to commercial, educational, health care, agricultural, financial and social sectors.

The report also stresses that even after the entry of 5G into the Indian networks, the earlier generation mobile technologies (2G, 3G and 4G) will continue to remain in use and that it may take 10 or more years to phase them out.

 

Various field Applications of 5G Network:

  • One of the primary applications of 5G will be implementation of sensor-embedded network that will allow real time relay of information across fields such as manufacturing, consumer durables and agriculture.
  • 5G can also help make transport infrastructure more efficient by making it smart. 5G will enable vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, making driverless cars, among other things, a reality.
  • Low latency is one of the most important features of 5G technology which is significant for mission critical applications. 5G networks are capable of latency less than a millisecond.
  • 5G will be using new radio millimetre waves for transmission. It has much higher bandwidth compared to lower LTE bands and capable of huge data rate.
  • 5G is the most efficient candidate for Internet of Things due to its flexibility, unused spectrum availability and low-cost solutions for deployment.
  • IoT applications will collects huge amount of data from millions of devices and sensors. It requires an efficient network for data collection, processing, transmission, control and real-time analytics.
  • Healthcare industry has to integrate all the operation with use of a powerful network.
  • 5G will power healthcare industry with smart medical devices, Internet of medical things, smart analytics, and high definition medical imaging technologies.

 

Challenges present to adapt to 5G are:

  • Frequency allocation: Indian operators have far less spectrum in comparison to international operators. The high investment cost which makes telecom companies unsure about Return on Investment.
  • We lag behind in technology in comparison.
  • Network investment: In India, the telecom sector is facing capital augmentation issues which need to be resolved.
  • Non-availability of funds for investment: Many of the Indian operators are also weighed down by debt.
  • Regulatory restrictions: Faster rounds of new technology introduction when prior technology investments have not been recouped add further complexity.
  • Technical Challenges: Designing IT architecture that can be deployed globally, while still allowing for localized technology to cater for different regions is a challenge.

 

Way forward for India:

  • Need to align Digital India with 5G technology.
  • Strengthen our cyber infrastructure.
  • Incentivize design and manufacture of 5G technologies, products and solutions in India.
  • Allocate funds and incentivise local technology and telecom firms to develop their internal capacities which would in turn help 5G technology succeed in the country
  • Promote 5G start-ups that enable this design and manufacturing capabilities.
  • Promote generation of IPR backing the above designs.
  • Manufacture of 5G chipsets, this may require massive investments.
  • Appropriate test-beds and technology platforms to enable and help Indian technical ecosystem to have an edge in 5G.
  • Accelerated deployment of next generation ubiquitous ultra-high broadband infrastructure with 100% coverage of 10 Gbps across urban India and 1 Gbps across Rural India.
  • Coverage, reliability, and scalability must be optimized and seamless mobile networks will require a unified management policy to ensure consistent standards

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