5G Technology In India

5G technology represents the next generation standard of wireless communication, connecting devices, machines, businesses, and people. What sets 5G in India and elsewhere apart is its ability to deliver higher multi-Gbps data 5G speed, massive bandwidth and network capacity, ultra-low latency, better availability and more reliability compared to any other mobile network.

5G network in India first came into the conversation in 2017 when a high-level forum was set up by the government to chalk out a roadmap towards a 5G India by 2020. Another important aspect of the 5G in India journey has been the deliberation on the development of specific 5G India standards. While the Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI) has been keen on pushing telcos to undertake trials based on 5G, a homegrown standard with a Large Cell Low Mobility enhancement for wider coverage in rural areas, the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has argued for the implementation of the global 3GPP standard for 5G in India. Then there has been the entire 5G spectrum pricing and allocation uncertainty in India that has marked the 5G India journey since its early days. It was in 2017 when the first 5G in India spectrum auction was first initiated by the government, with the Telecom Regulation Authority of India (TRAI) setting the base rate at INR 492 crore per unit for 5G in India airwaves between 3.3-3.6 GHz – one of the highest rates in the world. Earlier, only 175 MHz was being made available for the 5G in India auction to the telcos – a figure believed to be insufficient if India is to rollout next-generation 5G services and technologies. Therefore, in the next 6-9 months, we can expect an accelerated rate of fiberisation to connect rural India to the upcoming 5G services.

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Challenges the 5G launch in India will Face:-

• Low fiberisation footprint
• ‘Make in India’ hardware challenge
• High spectrum pricing
• Choosing the optimal 5G technology standard
• Differences in 5G bands

How will 5G affect the revenue for Telcos?

• The first one is the TRAI-suggested auction base price of 5G spectrum which the telcos are demanding drops down by 95%. Additionally, telcos also want to pay off for their spectrum allocation in a lengthy, staggered payment scheme.
• The second hurdle that telecom operators in India face is the mammoth investment required yet to deploy pan-India 5G networks in the next 5-6 years. Estimates suggest it to be to the tune of US$7-10 billion.
• Thirdly, many telcos fear a potential price disruption by established or new entrants during the launch of 5G in India which could set the ARPUs tumbling.
• Lastly, telcos are also sceptical of how effectively they can monetise the more advanced use cases of 5G such as virtual reality, live streaming, real-time gaming or automated cars – technologies that are still many years away from mainstream adoption in India.

What is 5Gi?

5Gi has been developed as a more reliable and India-centric alternative to the global 3GPP 5G standard. One of the most cited major benefits of 5Gi is its ability to make the large-scale deployment of 5G network in India much more economical. Additionally, 5Gi has also been proven to provide a wider range at lower frequencies compared to a regular 5G network.
5G Network Spectrum Auction
Telcos’ request to extend the 5G trials was recently approved by the Department of telecommunication which has pushed the 5G spectrum auction to the second half of 2022. DoT had allowed 5G spectrum in 700 Mhz, 3.5 Ghz and 26 Ghz frequency bands earlier this year for enabling tests and trials for 6 months. The period came to an end on 26th November. However, the price of the spectrum was a concern for all the Indian service providers. High reserve price coupled with lack of demand indicated that the auction won’t drive the prices up. This further strengthened government’s decision to delay the auction. Private telcos Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone are conducting trials to test the 5G technology in India.
The anticipation of 5G in India has been building up for years now, meaning many manufacturers have already launched the latest 5G smartphones in the country, with more in the pipeline. As per estimates, the number of 5G devices in India will grow to 31 million units in 2021, while the average price of entry-level 5G devices has reduced by almost 40% in the last six months.
Enabling 5G Telecom in India
Telecom operators can add more value to their consumer, the society and enterprise customers with the help of 5G which adds enormous strength to connectivity. There is a need for focused efforts on behalf of service providers for creating more modern networks. For enabling humungous amount of data transfer, it is also necessary for India to invest in fibre backhaul as it is much less in comparison to countries such as Japan, China and the US. Investment in optical connectivity and spectrum allocation are two things that need to be sorted immediately. STL has been investing in the 5G architecture via software, hardware and people recruitment to develop ‘Make in India’ ecosystem.
Latest developments indicate that the 5G spectrum auction is expected to roll out by the second half of 2022.

Pros of 5G

  1. High speeds
    5G works faster on mobile phones and other devices when compared to 4G and 4G LTE. It allows users to download movies, videos, and music in seconds as opposed to minutes.
  2. Low latency
    5G has low latency when compared to 4G that will support new applications such as AI, IoT, and virtual reality efficiently.
  3. Increased capacity
    5G has the capacity to deliver up to 100 times more capacity than 4G.
  4. More bandwidth
    One of the main advantages of 5G is that it increases more bandwidth that will help transfer the data as soon as possible.
  5. Powering innovation
    5G technology is the perfect choice for connecting with a whole range of different devices including drones and sensors.
  6. Less tower congestion
    4G cellular networks often get congested which will result in various problems while accessing important data.

Cons of 5G 

  1. Limited global coverage

The main disadvantage of 5G is that it has limited global coverage and is available only in specific locations.

  1. Decreased broadcast distance 

Although 5G works fast at high speed, it won’t travel as far when compared to 4G.

  1. Upload speeds 

5G technologies allow mobile phone users to ensure high download speeds. On the other hand, the upload speeds are not over 100 Mbps when compared to 4G. Furthermore, mobile phones need better battery technology while using a 5G connection.

  1. Weakened device batteries 

Phones that use a 5G connection will result in a huge battery drain that reduces the lifespan to a large extent.

  1. Cybersecurity 

Cybersecurity is one of the drawbacks of 5G because it will result in hacking. The expansion in the bandwidth enables criminals to steal the database with ease.

  1. Lack of encryption early in the connection process

5G lacks encryption and hackers can plan their attacks with more precision that will affect the companies to a large extent. More bandwidth will strain current security monitoring and the network requires security measures to prevent cyber threats.

Top 5 sectors that will benefit from 5G

1. Real Estate

2. Farming

3. Healthcare

4. Automotive

5. Industrial

The Indian market is primed for the launch of 5G—the next generation of mobile broadband—and its rollout will only help improve India’s overall mobile speed rankings, said Doug Suttles, CEO and co-founder of Ookla, the company best known for its Speedtest rankings.