Understanding 5G in India in 2022
5G or fifth generation network technology will soon be part of India. As 2022 dawns, it’s important for anyone inclined towards a digital lifestyle to understand what 5G is. While many know that 5G is a network technology and that it will be an upgrade from 4G, it is also important to know why and how it is an upgrade. .
5G is the latest wireless network connectivity standard designed to connect virtually everyone. This includes machines, objects and other devices. 5G is going to change the way everyone connects. This is something that a lot of people haven’t even been able to figure out yet.
With 5G, several gigabytes of data throughput, ultra-low latency, massive network capacity, and a more uniform experience for users can be promised. Thanks to these possibilities, 5G enables the evolution of next-generation technology.
No one has 5G
Understand that 5G is not a unique invention and that no one has it. It’s just a wireless connectivity standard. The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is an industry organization followed by almost all countries when it comes to 5G and other wireless network connectivity standards.
The underlying technology that makes 5G
Note that 5G is based on Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM). OFDM is a method of modulating a digital signal on several different channels to reduce interference.
5G is not very different in principle from 4G. It uses the same mobile network principles as 4G, but the only difference is that the 5G New Radio (NR) air interface can enhance OFDM to provide a much higher degree of scalability and flexibility.
5G also involves higher bandwidth spectrum frequencies. Spectrum in millimeter wavelength bands and bands below 6 GHz will be used for 5G services, which will be the first time that such high frequency waves will be used to deploy mobile network services.
This allows 5G to be very different from 4G when it comes to use cases and its applications. The mobile ecosystem will touch new areas with 5G, which was not possible with previous generation technologies.
Simply comparing with 4G networks, 5G is faster, has more capacity, offers significantly lower latency, is a more unified platform than 4G, and uses a higher frequency spectrum than 4G ever would. could do it.
5G is designed to support more critical applications and communications and also bring the massive Internet of Things (IoT) to the table. Even the rollout of 5G would be done in new ways.
It would be the first time that we could see street furniture such as power poles and more small cells, which would improve network coverage for 5G services in the high spectrum bands.
Where will 5G be used?
5G will be used in several areas to improve the user experience. First, 5G will enable enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), through which immersive experiences such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) will become possible. Then there are the critical communications that 5G will enable, such as vehicle-to-vehicle communication, smart healthcare, and more.
Massive IoT is also a great possibility with 5G, as there would be ultra-low latency connections with high data rates to enable real-time communication between sensors.
5G isn’t just for normal consumers
Until now, mobile networks were only seen as a tool designed for normal consumers. But 5G won’t be just for normal consumers. It is designed for a larger ecosystem which, as mentioned above, includes massive IoT, improved mobile broadband, and critical communications.
Businesses would want part of the 5G network for their manufacturing facilities or offices; thus, the role of private 5G networks and network slicing would become evident. 5G would be very different from 4G and open up multiple new revenue streams for telecom companies. So many new businesses, applications and use cases would emerge with the power of 5G networks.
Why isn’t 5G happening in all cities?
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) recently announced that 5G would first be launched in some cities across the country. These cities are where the trials are underway. Places such as Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Gandhinagar, Pune and many more would see 5G first than the rest of India.
The reason is the cost of network deployment. The investments that 5G would entail won’t be cheap. Telecom operators will have to spend a lot on 5G spectrum and upgrade existing sites as well as deploying small cells on power poles and so on.
It will be a gradual roll-out, but the good thing with 5G on a Non-Autonomous Architecture (NSA) network is that carriers can use technologies like dynamic spectrum sharing and deploy 5G services using a 4G core.
What spectrum bands will be used for 5G services?
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is currently working on the new reserve pricing for the spectrum bands that will be offered in the 5G spectrum auctions. This time around, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has decided that spectrum in the 600 MHz band will also be offered to telecommunications operators.
But the only problem is that basic spectrum pricing in multiple bands must be achievable for telecom operators. If telecom operators find the pricing too expensive, they will have no choice but to ignore the spectrum offered by the government.
The spectrum bands that will be used for 5G are: 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 3.5 GHz, 26 GHz and possibly 28 GHz.
Spectrum is an area where telecom operators and satellite communications companies disagree. Telecom companies want the government to leave frequencies in the 28 GHz band for satellite broadband, but telecom operators also feel they need airwaves in the 28 GHz band.
Not only that, but there is also the question of how the government will allocate that spectrum. Telecommunications companies are biased towards the view that the government should administratively allocate spectrum as needed, while telecom operators are of the view that the government should only auction spectrum, which will help maintain transparency.
Indian market is becoming ripe for 5G services
One thing telecom operators will appreciate is that the Indian market is ready for the launch of 5G services. It is because it has happened for the first time that people already have smartphones that support network technology that has not even been launched yet. Millions of Indians now have 5G compatible smartphones.
This will help telecom operators to maximize revenue and break even sooner than expected. In addition, businesses also have a huge need for digital services and use cases that 5G would enable. Whether it’s healthcare, education or the online gaming industry; every industry would need 5G services.
With existing networks, telecom operators would first launch the service, then educate customers about the needs and benefits of those services, then smartphones supporting these services would come into the market, and only then telecom operators. would have the opportunity to generate income. This involves training costs for customers, for companies, as well as time costs for companies. But with 5G, that won’t be the case.
Users already have a huge interest in 5G smartphones, and therefore the Indian market will be more than ready to consume 5G services as they are launched.
5G vs. 5Gi
India had therefore released its own 5G standard, namely 5Gi. While 5Gi was designed to improve rural connectivity, it also posed some significant challenges. With 5Gi, smartphone makers, as well as telecom equipment suppliers, faced the threat of rising costs. Indian consumers should pay more to get these 5Gi compatible devices.
Indeed, 5Gi products should be specially designed for India. Vendors and manufacturers would have to produce products on a very small scale, especially for the Indian market, and other markets would get the 5G supported products from 3GPP. This would have contributed to the rising costs for Indian consumers. It would still have excluded India from the rest of the world.
If a smartphone that supports 5Gi was in a foreign environment such as the United States (US), it would not have been able to connect to the 5G network present because it is a device that supports 5Gi .
However, according to a recent statement from 3GPP, it has been confirmed that 5Gi is in the process of being merged with the 5G standard of 3GPP. An action plan for the same has already been confirmed. So, people who fear India will make the mistake of moving forward with 5Gi can rest easy because it won’t happen again.
When will 5G be available in India?
5G is expected to launch in the second half of 2022. Spectrum auctions are expected to take place in May or June 2022 as telecom operators are still in the testing phase. Even TRAI has yet to offer a new base price.
There could be more delays and invisible challenges. But if things stay on track and everything goes according to plan, India could see the first 5G network go live on August 15, 2022.
The government wants telecom operators to try to make an effort to launch 5G by August 15, 2022. It is a very special day for the country as August 15 is the official independence day of the country. India, the launch of the 5G network on that day would take place. a lot of importance.
But again, it will be a few years before it reaches everyone in India. PAN-India 5G coverage is expected by 2025 or 2026 at the latest. This is because telecom operators would have to commit huge sums of money to deploy new equipment and upgrade existing technology to ensure the delivery of smooth 5G network service.