For many years now, technological advancements have drastically altered human existence. The mobile data revolution has been the most significant one in India over the past ten years.
Data is the new oil, as Mr. Mukesh Ambani famously stated, and this is true. Data is the lifeblood of the digital economy, and the rate of expansion of the Indian mobile market is unmatched globally. This can be seen in how quickly India rose from 155th place in mobile broadband penetration to the top spot for mobile data consumption in the world in just one year, surpassing both the US and China combined (Source: NITI Ayog).
The fourth industrial revolution has started, and it is being driven by connection, data, and artificial intelligence. Additionally, 5G is the new electricity that will advance it.
First of all, What is 5G?
The next-generation wireless access technology, known as 5G, can connect billions of devices and offers better data capacities and speeds of more than 10 GB per second.
Mobile networks today must accommodate a wider range of requirements than ever before in the “Everything on Mobile” era. Globally, a variety of industries, including transportation, healthcare, and logistics, are projected to be redefined by 5G. In contrast to 3G and 4G, which mainly improved data transmission speeds for smartphones, 5G will enable communication between an infinite number of linked devices.
The major feature includes a throughput speed of up to 10 gigabytes per second, a huge reduction in latency to less than 1 millisecond (ms) from the current 50ms, and an exponential rise in the number of connections. Higher throughput translates to faster consumer network speeds. Applications that would not have been conceivable with slower reaction times will now be made possible. For instance, due to their remoteness, a sizable portion of the population in India is outside the typical reach of professionals. The 5G network’s reduced latency may potentially make remote robotic surgery possible.
Consider schooling as an example. Virtual reality technology offers instruction and interaction with teachers in a virtual classroom for students living in locations with limited educational resources. It also allows them to complete tasks like conducting experiments in a virtual laboratory. To make this a reality, immersive video and virtual reality images must have a resolution that is close to what the human retina can detect in terms of detail. This calls for a throughput of 300 Mbps or more, which is more than 100 times the throughput needed to operate HD video services at the moment.
Will there be hiccups on the journey? Naturally, and some of them rather big. Consider the World Financial Crisis and the Great Depression. Despite occasional bumps, the trend is an upward slope. A more concrete illustration would be driverless cars, which should be able to effortlessly “talk” to one another across blind curves to prevent accidents.
India: Land of opportunities!
In particular, given that India is on the verge of surpassing the USD2,000 per capita GDP threshold, a potent combination of favourable demographics, massive 4G adoption, and exponential growth in data usage holds great promise for rapid growth in the telecom consumption.
India’s domestic market, which has a population of over 1.3 billion, has enormous growth prospects. India’s states each have a population that is, as is sometimes claimed, equivalent to a whole nation.
Massive data adoption driving digital expansion –
There are currently just 322 million wireless broadband subscribers in India, but we predict that number will more than double to 1 billion by 2025.
The market share of 4G technology is growing quickly as operators increasingly reduce their 2G and 3G footprints. In order to meet the rising need for data, we also expect commercial 5G to emerge by 2022, especially in urban regions. India’s cost of 5G devices and other network equipment will decrease because to China’s commercial 5G launch plan in 2019 and following acceleration of 5G investment, which is anticipated to peak out in 2023.
Exponential surge in data usage –
Along with faster internet, widespread access to high-speed data will act as a driver for increased data usage. In comparison to other countries, data charges in India are much higher. But in just four or five months, the robust competition sparked by RJIO’s arrival has reduced data rates to less than one-third. This is intended to increase data consumption even further.
What are the bottlenecks?
If people only have analogue devices in their possession, digitization will be impossible. India’s growth may be supported by 5G technology, but changes will be needed to make it easier to upgrade important infrastructure. Let’s examine a few crucial factors:
- The fact that more than 75% of the towers in India still use antiquated microwave transmission methods, in contrast to the US and China where most towers are backhauling using fibre.
- Due to the significant fibre requirements, its adoption will be delayed in rural areas where there is a relatively low demand for data.
- The range of 5G is constrained since it operates in high-frequency bands, also known as millimetre waves. Deploying dense networks, or more than twice as many towers as are required today, is necessary as a result.
- The stretched finances of the telecom sector are the most significant issue.
There are numerous compelling arguments in favour of India’s position at the vanguard of the ongoing digital revolution. Applications and services that are based on technologies such as the Internet of Things, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI) are expected to be the drivers of future growth in this industry.
People will increasingly use telepresence and remote service as an alternative to flying, while driverless cars may cause a shakeup in the automotive sector. Both of these developments are expected to become commonplace in the near future.
India has the ambitious goal of developing one hundred “smart cities,” each of which will have an intelligent power and municipal utility infrastructure. As more fields require applications for cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, the services business will have an excellent potential to capitalise on all of these applications.
It has been demonstrated that homegrown giants such as Ola, Flipkart, and Zomato are capable of building applications that are competitive and are able to compete on an equal basis with global giants. If 5G is rolled out on time, it will provide Indian businesspeople the opportunity to innovate alongside their counterparts from around the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
5G is the fifth generation of mobile network technology that offers faster internet speeds, higher bandwidth, and low latency connections.
5G technology will offer higher internet speeds, better connectivity, improved network reliability, and low latency connections, which will enable new technological innovations in various sectors like healthcare, education, and entertainment.
5G is not likely to replace 4G in India completely. However, 5G will complement the existing 4G network and offer faster and better internet speeds.
The growth of 5G networks is expected to have a significant impact on the Indian economy by enabling new technological innovations, creating new job opportunities, and boosting productivity across various sectors.
The Indian government has taken several initiatives to promote the growth of 5G networks, including reducing spectrum prices, providing incentives for telecom companies, and setting up a 5G testbed in the country.