5G in India

Image source: News18

Relevance – what are the benefits of 5G technology? – what are the challenges in the implementation of 5G technology?

The Indian government is aiming to commercially introduce 5G services in the country by the end of 2020, almost in line with rest of the world. The government expects the cumulative economic impact of 5G on India to be about $1 trillion by 2035.

Benefits of 5G – 5G is the next generation of mobile Internet connectivity that would offer much faster and more reliable networks, which would form the backbone for the emerging era of Internet of Things (IoT).  5G is expected to see use beyond delivery of services just on “personal phone platforms”. It will also connect new devices including machines, sensors, actuators, vehicles, robots and drones, to support a much larger range of applications and services.

Key benefits:

  • On a 5G network, wireless data can travel at real-world peak speeds that are more than 10 times faster than most 4G networks and fast enough to compete with fibre-to-the-home wireline broadband.
  • Network operators can use 5G to alleviate the mobile and video congestion that often occurs when large numbers of users are concentrated in one place, such as transit hubs, sporting events or shopping areas.
  • Once IoT gains momentum, the largest opportunity will be in manufacturing, energy and utilities, followed by public safety and health sectors.

Challenges to implementation of 5G –

  • Enormous capital requirements – there is no compelling, near-term business case for 5G; implementing 5G will require enormous and unjustifiable capital investments.
  • High spectrum prices – 5G required large chunks of spectrum. Operators would have to shell out about Rs.10,000 crore for buying adequate spectrums for 5G technology. This is not good news when the industry continues to reel under financial stress, weighed down by high debt.
  • Coverage in rural areas – The 4G networks now serve more than 240 million subscribers in urban areas across the country; however, coverage in rural areas remains a challenge.

Sources: The Hindu and The Hindu

Categories: POINT IAS

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