As India readies itself for the adoption of 5G, the fifth generation of telecom network is touted to hit the market soon. Telecom service providers and mobile manufacturers already equipping themselves to cater to scores of people in the country. Though the worldwide adoption of the wireless technology is expected to reach its peak by 2020, works are currently underway to make way for the technology’s mass adoption.
In 2017, a study the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the department outlined the timeline of the evolution of the technology, its key attributes and stated that the technology will play a crucial role in transforming India into a technological hub.
Stating that the adoption of 5G in India would mark the country’s transition into a tech-savvy and advanced economy, the Union Telecom Minister, Manoj Sinha said that India “Won’t miss on the 5G bus” this time.
“While the previous 3G and 4G buses may have been missed, India will surely ride on the 5G bus,” Sinha said at a public event.
“Government is deliberating on recommendations of a high-level 5G forum to ring in 5G services, but (related) data privacy issues, spectrum allocation and 5G infrastructure sharing rules are challenges we have to address,” he added.
What are the key attributes?
As per India’s 5G Spectrum Strategy, developments are underway to make the technology a reality. Referred to as IMT-2020 by International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the government stated that it has invited candidate technology vendors for the evaluation process of IMT-2020 and by 2019-2020, the government hopes to release the official standards.
The government has also laid out seven goals with the deployment of 5G
- 100 times higher system capacity
- 10-100 times increase in data rates
- User data rates of 100 MBPS
- The peak data rate of 20 GBPS
- Connectivity enablement for 100- times more devices
- Latency reduced to 1 millisecond from 5 ms
- 100 x Network energy efficiency
While 4G provided for better and faster connectivity with 5G, the Government hopes to widen the connectivity to projects such as voice-based technologies, smart city, smart home/building, sensors, autonomous vehicles, wearable devices etc.
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“For India, 5G provides an opportunity for the industry to reach out to global markets, and consumers to gain with the economies of scale. Worldwide countries have launched similar Forums and thus, India has joined the race in 5G technologies. We are open for collaboration with them,” the Department of Telecommunication noted.
Samsung forays into 5G trials in India
A number of vendors including Samsung, CISCO, Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson have been roped in by the Government to conduct 5G trial runs across the country and Samsung recently announced that it is ready with its India specific local use cases for 5G trials.
Though, one of the main objectives of the government has been the incorporation of the technology is futuristic projects, with large-scale deployment of 5G, Samsung stated that the Indian government has requested for different sets of needs with special focus on education, farming and manufacturing.
“Government as part of the 5G forum included many of other partners who are focusing on identifying specific use cases [for India]. We just want to make sure the technology is available to support any of these uses cases,” Srini Sundarajan, Samsung India Senior Vice President and Head (Network Business), told a leading daily.
The report stated that the company is ready with its 5G field trials and that it is awaiting a response from the DoT for the trials. The company also stated that it is ready to support services on 26-28Ghz and 3.5Ghz and in India, with the latter band-width aimed at powering surveillance, smart cities, and smart factories among other projects.
With India’s mobile penetration set to rise by 85-90 per cent by 2020, the government’s vision to make 5G a reality within the specific time frame is a welcome change. With the number of mobile users increasing rapidly and access to internet connectivity reaching far corners of the country, 5G can prove to be a boon for rising India which aims to transform itself into a global superpower with initiatives like Make in India and Digital India
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Akshaya Asokan works as a Technology Journalist at Analytics India Magazine. She has previously worked with IDG Media and The New Indian Express. When not writing, she can be seen either reading or staring at a flower.