GS Paper 3:
Topics Covered: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology and issues relating to intellectual property rights.
According to the recently released ‘Ericsson Mobility Report’:
- Fifth generation telecom services are likely to account for 39% of mobile subscriptions or about 500 million subscriptions in India at the end of 2027.
- The total number of smartphone subscriptions is expected to be 810 million at the end of 2021 and is projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 7%, exceeding 1.2 billion by 2027.
- 4G subscriptions are expected to reduce from 68% of mobile subscriptions in 2021 to 55% in 2027 as subscribers migrate to 5G.
What is 5G?
- 5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace, or at least augment 4G LTE connection.
Features and benefits of the 5G technology:
- Operate in the millimeter wave spectrum (30-300 GHz) which have the advantage of sending large amounts of data at very high speeds.
- Operate in 3 bands, namely low, mid and high frequency spectrum.
- Reduced latency will support new applications that leverage the power of 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence.
- Increased capacity on 5G networks can minimize the impact of load spikes, like those that take place during sporting events and news events.
Significance of the technology:
India’s National Digital Communications Policy 2018 highlights the importance of 5G when it states that the convergence of a cluster of revolutionary technologies including 5G, the cloud, Internet of Things (IoT) and data analytics, along with a growing start-up community, promise to accelerate and deepen its digital engagement, opening up a new horizon of opportunities.
What are the potential health risks from 5G?
To date, and after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies.
- Tissue heating is the main mechanism of interaction between radiofrequency fields and the human body. Radiofrequency exposure levels from current technologies result in negligible temperature rise in the human body.
- As the frequency increases, there is less penetration into the body tissues and absorption of the energy becomes more confined to the surface of the body (skin and eye).
Provided that the overall exposure remains below international guidelines, no consequences for public health are anticipated.
What are the international exposure guidelines?
Two international bodies produce exposure guidelines on electromagnetic fields. Many countries currently adhere to the guidelines recommended by:
- The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.
- The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, through the International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety.
These guidelines are not technology-specific. They cover radiofrequencies up to 300 GHz, including the frequencies under discussion for 5G.
International efforts- International Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) Project:
WHO established the International Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) Project in 1996. The project investigates the health impact of exposure to electric and magnetic fields in the frequency range 0-300 GHz and advises national authorities on EMF radiation protection.
Is India prepared for roll-out of 5G? Read here,
- What is 5G?
- Differences between 3G, 4G and 5G.
- What is a spectrum?
- About EMF Project.
Discuss the significance of 5G technology.
Sources: the Hindu.