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Is India 5G ready?

On 4th May 2021, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) published an official statement permitting four telecom companies in India to conduct 5G trials. This news (a much-awaited breakthrough) cleared paths for this next-gen mobile connectivity to set foot in the Indian markets. The Central Government approved applications from the private telcos Bharati Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm and Vi (Vodafone Idea) and state-run telco Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Ltd. (MTNL) to run non-commercial trials of the 5G technology in the country.

Following that news, last week, we saw Bharati Airtel and Reliance Jio commence their 5G trials in Gurugam and Mumbai, respectively. But before we begin analysing and comparing, let’s first understand what 5G technology is, whether India is ready and why/how must India adopt it proactively.

What is 5G technology?

5G or the 5th generation mobile network is the latest global wireless standard after the 4G and 3G networks. It virtually connects machines, objects and devices by delivering higher multi-Gbps data speeds, increased reliability, immense network capacity, widespread availability and negligible latency. 5G also promises to support multiple connected IoT devices that were previously unachievable with 4g alone. Thus, 5G is here to redefine how we stream videos, play VR games, shop, work and communicate.

History of Mobile Technology

Source: Synopsys

Applications/Benefits Of 5G

Broadly, 5G will benefit almost every industry, business and individual by enhancing the following types of connected services:

Mobile Broadband

Apart from increased internet speed and lower latency, 5G will pave the way for new immersive experiences like AR & VR. Users can also expect reduced cost-per-bit.

Critical Communications

Due to reduced latency, 5G can prove to be a boon for mission-critical communications in various industry segments like critical infrastructure, remote learning and working, healthcare, smart cities, and so on.

Internet of Things (IoT)

5G technology will offer extremely lean and low-cost connectivity solutions. It seamlessly connects multiple embedded sensors in virtually everything while also scaling down the cost, mobility and power requirements.