Indian Industries Science and Technology

Making India 5G Ready?

India’s history with wireless services began early. The first experimental wireless telegraphy links were demonstrated as early as 1902. A Department of Wireless Telegraph was created soon thereafter, and wireless telegraphy came into routine use in Calcutta at Diamond Harbour in 1908.

However, we still had to wait for 90 more years for wireless technology. It was only in 1995 that commercial service for mobile phone was started.

Since last two decade we have only seen the advancement in the technology be it any sector Space, Health, Automobile, Networking and Agriculture etc. Especially in terms of networking a rapid growth in last decade shows a swift journey towards 5G. It all boils down to one question, are we (India) ready for this transformation?

What is 5G?

5G refers to Fifth Generation and mobile wireless generation generally refers to a change in the nature of the system, speed, technology, frequency, data capacity, latency etc.

5G is a wireless communication technology using radio waves or radio frequency (RF) energy to transmit and receive data. It is the next generation mobile networks technology after 4G LTE networks which promises to elevate the speed of the wireless networks from the present speed of about 45mbps to about 1Gbps.5G technologies will enter services gradually, beginning in 2019 and advance to a full range of services by 2024.

5G will accommodate technologies like IOT (Internet of Things), Artificial intelligence and mobility in our lives. As per the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) Committee on Digital Economic Policy, 5G technologies rollout will help in increasing GDP, creating employment and digitizing the economy.

IMPACT OF 5G ON INDIA

  • NITI Aayog recently pointed out that the digital payments market in India is set to become a trillion-dollar industry in the next five years. 5G will be the key support in the same.
  • 5G may offer ‘leapfrog’ opportunities by providing ‘smart infrastructure’ that offers lower cost and faster infrastructure delivery.
  • The cumulative economic impact of 5G on India can reach one trillion USD by 2035.
  • 5G will enable ‘vehicle platooning’, a technology that exploits 5G’s low latency communication capability to pack vehicles into platoons with low inter-vehicle spacing despite travelling at high speeds.
  • Platooning can double vehicle density in roads promoting efficient and safer use of the limited road infrastructure.
  • It will enable use of robotics for precision manufacturing, particularly where humans cannot perform these functions safely or with the necessary precision.
  • It can also enable better logistics to track goods from raw materials to product delivery and improved sharing of expensive design and manufacturing resources across the country.
  • In agriculture, from precision farming, smart irrigation, improved soil and crop monitoring, to livestock management, 5G can be used.
  • ‘Smart grids’ and ‘smart metering’ can be efficiently supported enabling growth of alternate energy technologies.
  • In health-care, 5G can enable more effective tele-medicine delivery, tele-control of surgical robotics and wireless monitoring of vital statistics.

CHALLENGES

  • Integration of various standards and standardization is a major challenge faced by 5G.
  •  No common architecture for interconnecting various engineering services.
  • There’s a lack of infrastructure even for 4G in India, installing 5G is going to be a major task
  • The Indian market hasn’t realized full potential of 4G and experiences of Artificial intelligence are at novice stage.
  • Shortage of instruments in generating skilled manpower in this technology.
  • Lack of uniform policy framework is again an inhibiting factor for the same.

RECOMMENDATIONS:

  • Rolling out early, efficient and pervasive 5G networks
  • Building India’s industrial and R&D capacity in 5G
  • Expanding the manufacturing base in 5G.
  • The cost of spectrum relative to per capita GDP is high and should come down
  • Expert committees should be created to develop clear guidelines on regulatory policy.
  • Education and Awareness Promotion Program to attract global 5G conferences to India, National 5G events and a comprehensive skill development program.
  • New civil infrastructures should be mandated to support 5G
  • Develop in line with different Government programs and Policies like Innovation Cell, IMPRINT-II and Start-Up India’s Academia Alliance Program etc.

5G holds the key to growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and IOT (Internet of Things). Moreover, it has applications from cloud systems to stream software updates, music, and navigation data to driverless cars. From Agriculture to Pharma and Infrastructure to educations it is going to be an important aspect for New India and its continuous development.

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