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5G technology launched

GS Paper 3

Syllabus: Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, and robotics.


Source: Economic Times

Context: Government has launched commercial 5G Services

Key Highlights from the launch event:

  • PM called the launch “a revolution”: A new India – the country is no longer just a consumer of technology but a contributor to its development too.
    • At the time of the launch of 2G, 3G and 4G services, India was dependent on other countries. But with 5G, the country is setting foot in a new historical era and is leading globally.
    • 5G technology will provide seamless coverage, high data rate, low latency, and highly reliable It will increase energy efficiency, spectrum efficiency and network efficiency.
  • 5G as technology multiplier: 5G is much more than the next generation of technology. It actually unlocks the potential of other technologies like Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Robotics, Blockchain, and Metaverse.
  • Other applications: 5G will help in real-time monitoring of disasters, precision agriculture, and minimising the role of humans in dangerous industrial operations such as in deep mines, and offshore activities, the government has underlined.
  • National Digital Communications Policy 2018: Emphasis on integration of digital ecosystem (including 5G) with economic and societal growth.
  • Focus area for India should be: Price of the device, digital connectivity, cost of data, and the idea of ‘digital first’


Demonstration of practical use of 5G services:

  • Education: 5G facilitate education by bringing teachers closer to students (through effective virtual classes), obliviating the physical distance between them.
  • Education: A girl from Uttar Pradesh will witness a lively and immersive education experience to learn about the solar system with the help of Virtual reality and Augmented reality.
  • Safety: Safety of workers in an under-construction tunnel of Delhi Metro through the creation of a Digital Twin of the tunnel on the.

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:

  1. Operate in the millimetre wave spectrum (30-300 GHz) which has the advantage of sending large amounts of data at very high speeds.
  2. Operate in 3 bands, namely low, mid and high-frequency spectrum.
  3. Reduced latency (means higher speed) will support new applications that leverage the power of 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT), and artificial intelligence.
  4. Increased capacity on 5G networks can minimize the impact of load spikes, like those that take place during sporting events and news events.

Current Affairs


What are the potential health risks of 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).
  • Previously, Bollywood actor Juhi Chawla had moved the Delhi High Court seeking a scientific study on any adverse effects of radio-frequency radiation emitted by cellular telecommunications using 5G technologyon ‘health, life, organ or limb of adult or child, or to flora and fauna’ before its official rollout in the country.

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:

  1. The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection.
  2. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, through the International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety.

These guidelines are not technology-specific. They cover radio frequencies 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.



Do you know what Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing is? (Read Briefly Here)


Mains Link:

Q. Discuss the significance of 5G technology.


Prelims Link:

  1. What is 5G?
  2. Differences between 3G, 4G and 5G.
  3. Applications.
  4. What is a spectrum?
  5. About EMF Project.

Q.With reference to Visible Light Communication (VLC) technology, which of the following statements are correct? (UPSC 2020)

  1. VLC uses electromagnetic spectrum wavelengths 375 to 780 nm.
  2. VLC is known as long-range optical wireless communication.
  3. VLC can transmit large amounts of data faster than Bluetooth
  4. VLC has no electromagnetic interference.

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1, 2 and 3 only

(b) 1, 2 and 4 only

(c) 1, 3 and 4 only

(d) 2, 3 and 4 only

Answer: C

Visible Light Communication (VLC) technology is a wireless method that enables high-speed transmission of data with visible light. This data is transmitted by modulating the intensity of light given off by a light source. The spectrum range is 380nm to 750 nm.

VLC is used for short-range indoor environments as light waves cannot pass the opaque walls. VLC systems operate at optical frequencies and emit no electromagnetic interference.