After the huge success of 4G, India is all set to move forward in the digital race with the launch of 5G. The release of 5G in India will not only enhance connectivity but also help in digitalization bringing it closer towards a complete digital India.
The launch of 5G along with improved connectivity and speed will also bring real-time solutions to many industries. Many countries have either started the first step in launching 5G services or are conducting tests and trials for the launch.
Now you may have the question what actually is 5G? How is it going to affect our lives? When is it going to be launched in India?
Don’t worry! Here, we have brought you an answer to all the questions you need to know about 5G and about the launch of 5G in India.
Before going in detail, let me give you a brief glimpse of various topics we are about to cover here.
What is 5G?
Before understanding the 5G network, let us first understand what 1G, 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G in the cellular world actually refers to. These refer to different generations of wireless networks.
1G refers to the first generation of wireless networks, 2G refers to the second generation and so on, with each generation being faster and advanced as compared to its predecessor generation.
Now, coming to the fifth generation of wireless cellular networks, usually abbreviated as 5G. It is the latest update in the world of wireless networks, very soon going to replace 4G networks. But it’s yet to reach the digital market worldwide.
Technically speaking, 5G is an upgrade of 4G LTE connections but has the capability to connect a variety of devices, ranging from smartphones to IoT- driven devices and even smart cities.
If experts are to be believed, this new technology wouldn’t just increase download and upload speed or communication speed between wirelessly connected devices but will also bring a Humangous change in AI-driven devices.
Release of 5G in India
According to sources, 5G in India was scheduled to be launched by early 2020, but the current situations are not in favor of the same. Let us understand why?
First, let us see why we need 5G on top of 4G. 4G was introduced to the world to implement enhanced complete connectivity. Whereas the aim of 5G is not only to connect communication devices, but also to connect IoT devices, smart cities, and AI-driven machines over the internet.
Although India has not been able to achieve complete connectivity with respect to 4G networks. One of the slowest 4G networks in the world, even slower than some of our neighboring countries.
Please refer to the official website of TRAI for a complete knowledge of 4G connections in India.
Even though if we ignore the current connectivity problems in India, with the development of the 4G network itself, even then the release of 5G in India is quit not possible in 2020.
Even the auctions for the 5G spectrum has not been conducted or planned in India. Many telecom giants are more than willing to participate in the auction. We will look at this point in detail in the upcoming session.
As per the government laws, the deployment of 5G in India can only be done after the auctions of the spectrums.
Moreover, in order to use 5G networks, we need 5G compatible mobile devices. In India, only two companies have launched 5G compatible smartphones which are not enough for such a massive population.
We also need more frequency than we are using right now for the 4G networks. This requires improvement in infrastructure and increased investments in and by the telecom companies.
With respect to the current scenario, 5G might be launched in India till next year or 2022. But it will take another two to three years to reach the masses.
Impact of Corona Virus on the release of 5G in India
Along with the many hurdles in the delay of 5G in India, the CoronaVirus epidemic has definitely been a plus one. According to analysts, there might be a delay in the auctions of the 5G spectrum due to the outbreak of CoronaVirus.
Let’s understand in a brief about the spectrum auctions. In simple words, spectrum auction is the process of selling the right of transmitting the signal over a specific band of the electromagnetic spectrum.
For getting a detailed description of the auction of the spectrum, please refer to the Wikipedia article below.
Know more about Spectrum Auction here
Earlier the spectrum auction was supposed to be held in 2019 which was later postponed to April 2020. But the outbreak of the CoronaVirus has led to a further delay.
Many telecom giants like Airtel and Vodafone are already hesitant to participate in the auctions due to its high pricing. Adjusted gross revenue (AGR) debt is too high for the auctions.
Adjusted gross revenue refers to the usage and licensing fee that telecom operators are charged by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
The pricing of the unsold spectrum as recommended by the Telecom Authority of India (TRAI) is too high, especially in the current scenario where telecom operators are facing unstable financial conditions.
If the epidemic continues for a few more months the government might find it difficult to auction high priced 5G spectrum sales before the first quarter of 2021. The next auction might be held in January or February of 2021.
Not only auction of 5G spectrum, but the deployment of 5G networks and manufacturing of 5G networks may also be affected, thus causing an uncertain delay in the release of 5G in India.
The Chinese company Huawei is leading the race of launching 5G devices in India. With the outbreak of CoVID-19, the launch of these devices and their prices will be largely affected.
Thus, Corona Virus has emerged as a surplus to the already existing potential delay of the launch of 5G in India.
How is 5G in India critical to digital dreams of the nation?
Proper deployment and connectivity of 5G in India are very important to take India forward in technological development.
Launch of 5G in India is important not only to ensure complete connectivity, but also to connect IoT-driven devices, automation, and smart city projects.
In order to achieve India’s digital ambition, it is very important for operators and the Government to cope up with speed and availability problems and to adopt this advancing technology.
According to ‘The Economic Times’, India needs to cope up with four fundamental blocks to make the implementation of 5G in India possible.
- Spectrum Availability
Right now, India has to fight with both – availability and pricing of the band of 5G spectrum, especially in the current situation where telecom operators are facing an unhealthy financial situation.
5G networks will require more advanced technologies in the field of fabrication, antennae and network slicing.
In India, where telecom companies are facing challenges even in monetizing 4G networks, they will have to think before investing in 5G technology.
The major challenge faced by the Government of India is to help telecom companies prevent going into financial loss. Such policies need to be implemented which will help in the field of employment, technology, and investment and also be favorable for telecom companies.
To know more about how 5G is critical to India’s digital dreams, visit the link here.
Should you buy a 5G phone yet?
Releasing 5G networks in India is still a long road to go but smartphone manufacturers are way ahead. In the country where even 5G spectrum auction has not been held, 5G phones have been launched.
Though telecom operators have not even started trials for 5G in India, yet two 5G phones have already been launched in the market.
Though 5G phones have already been launched into the market, think before buying it right now.
First of all, the cost of both these smartphones is in the mid-range pricing sections. Realme x50 Pro starts at Rs 37, 999 whereas iQoo starts at Rs 36, 999.
Secondly, there are no benefits to buying 5G phones when technology has not even arrived yet and appears to long away from the present. You’ll have to pay for a premium device without any major benefits.
Till the time 5G in India becomes viable, there are chances that companies like Redmi and Samsung will also launch 5G phones in the Indian market. So you will have more options to choose from.
So, do not rush to buy 5G phones right now. You will end up buying a premium device with outdated network technology.
Pros and Cons of 5G in India
Now when you know what is a 5G network and why it is needed, let us see in detail what are the positive and negative impacts of this technology.
PROS of 5G
- Highspeed Network
Launch of 5G in India will bring up high bandwidth which will result in highspeed network and high broadband connectivity, thus increasing the download and upload speeds. It will help India in overcoming slow network issues.
- Increase in the number of towers
To ensure high and reliable 5G connections, more upgraded towers will be required. This will help citizens to generate revenue through leases to the cellular companies. This will also lead to less network congestion.
- Connecting IoT devices and Smart City projects
The main aim of launching 5G in India is not only speed but also connecting smart city projects and IoT driven devices which will be critical in fulfilling India’s digital dream.
- Disaster management
A higher speed of 5G networks will help in disaster management more efficiently. The government will be able to reach citizens and convey information to them faster.
5G in India will be improving transportation and traffic by improving traffic signals and congestion of traffic. It will also make access to buses and cabs easier due to its high bandwidth.
There are many more positive changes that 5G in India will bring in the daily lives of people. Also, it will help industries in real-time solutions. Moreover, it will prove to be helpful in the digital advancement of the country.
But there is no technology which doesn’t come with any negative impacts. So, let us see what will be the negative aspects of 5G.
CONS of 5G
- Overcrowding of Radio Frequency
Internet transmission travels across the radio spectrum which has limited space. The addition of 5G cells in it will cause a lot of stress in the network.
- Broadcast distance
The frequency waves of 5G can travel a lesser distance than 4G networks due to which it can be blocked by trees or buildings or absorbed by higher frequency waves.
- Battery draining and the heating problem of 5G devices
Devices using 5G networks will require better battery technologies as these devices may face high battery draining problems along with heating problems.
- High Pricing
Both the 5G networks and devices working on these 5G networks will have a very high price which will be difficult to be afforded by common citizens. The prices may be too high especially during the initial days of the launch.
Top 5G countries in the world
With the advancement in technology and to stay updated in the digital world, many countries have either launched the 5G networks or are conducting various tests and trials for it.
According to the latest statistics, the countries which are leading in the launch of 5G networks include South Korea, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States.
These countries are leading the world as their telecom operators have deployed the 5G networks. The mobile companies in these countries have also come up with many 5G compatible devices.
Countries like Finland and Switzerland have also switched to the 5G networks but right now have only limited deployment. They may soon emerge as leaders in this digital race too.
According to the report from network testing provider VIAVI, the 5G network has expanded to 378 cities across 34 countries. South Korea has the highest number of cities with a 5G network, followed by China, the US, and the UK.
Things that will change after the release of 5G in India
There might be a question in your mind that why is India moving towards 5G networks when even 4G networks have not been fully developed here. So let see what changes can 5G bring.
First, it will help in improving our graph in terms of network speed and bandwidth. It will lead to increased speed and decreased congestion in the network.
According to economists, 5G will bring a great impact on the Indian economy by $1 trillion by 2035 when 5G will move from connecting people to everything.
The release of 5G in India will also act as a great factor in bringing up the Fourth Industrial Revolution in the country by enabling digitally connected society and devices.
Release of 5G in India will also affect educational and informational industries, healthcare, manufacturing industries, IT sectors and many more other industries. It will lead India towards new innovations, energy-efficient consumption and real-world of IoT connected applications.
Simply summing up in a line, the release of 5G in India will help in its technological development and digitalization.
Though 5G would bring a lot of development in terms of technology, it would take a little time to release 5G in India. Even if released, it might not reach to common mass due to its high pricing and other technical hurdles.
So, do not rush right now to buy 5G compatible smartphones. It is nearly possible that by next year, 5G in India will be released, Even if too late, it will be launched latest by 2022.
Let’s hope India soon gets ahead in the race of 5G development which will be a great factor in fulfilling India’s digital dreams.
This was all about 5G in India. If you think we have missed out on something or you have something more to share, please feel free to inform us in the comments below.