Before we begin speculating on the theories of this latest upgrade in the Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband network, we need to know what exactly the 5G execution in our country can do. What is the buzz and, why is India waiting for the 5G revolution?

Just as the earlier generations worked, the 5G network is a digital cellular platform where a high-level of performance and increased data rate of about 1Gbps is bound to fulfil the demands of a colossal amount of connections, high spectrum efficiency, great capacity, and low latency. Simply put, this is what is expected for wireless communication technology to transmit and receive data.

To meet capacity needs, 5G has a larger bandwidth which allows people to browse the web faster, download files and watch videos at a blistering speed, that too, without slow buffering. The low network latency will reduce the response time in messaging actions with respect to mobile technology. The MIMO (Minimum Input, Minimum Output) feature will let more people connect to the network, with absolutely no compromise on the speed. Just as astonishing as it sounds, we ponder over the possibility of seeing the emergence of 5G sooner.

So, is India all set to roll out this astounding service?

All around the world, with every minute of the day, technology is booming with possibilities. It has become a pressing need for countries to stay updated with the latest sciences, provide to the citizens, and ultimately, evolve in the global economy. On par with the other global competitors, India too had planned on implementing 5G services as early as 2018. Unfortunately, the major hurdle lay with the financial expenses. Two of the three private telecom companies failed to meet the capitals, hence disrupting this life-altering dream of a nation.

Opportunely, Reliance Jio has planned on launching a 5G network in India, later this year. A solution has been set by the company that is ready for deployment once the networks are in place. The same solution can be deployed by other telecom companies as a complete managed service. 5G network service being ten times faster than 4G services, the system proves to be a complex affair too.

Considering a country like India, 5G services can improve the accessibility of services like healthcare, mobile banking and give rise to an exponential growth of opportunities for underemployed and unemployed citizens by engaging them in productive work. Agriculture is a sector that can be tremendously improved with smart agriculture and smart crop management methods. Skilled development, smart education, integrated public and private transportation, public safety and disaster management, are among the other sectors that benefit from this life-changing technological service.

Some of the important initiatives to build a 5G ecosystem in the country include thorough research and trials. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) encourages research to develop a standard formulation, intellectual property rights, and proof of concepts. Moreover, the DoT and TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has been working on an overhauled framework that will predominantly focus on 5G spectrum auction and allocation. The government has been taking strict measures to increase the country’s fibre backbone to 2.5 million kilometres by the year 2022. This will facilitate and accelerate the commercial deployment of 5G services on a major scale.

There have been several reports pointing out that 18% of the general population in India will switch from 4G to 5G by the year 2025. But the crushing issues and the dwindling possibilities of 5G service look bleak with the rising diesel prices, overstretched service providers with debts, delayed payments to the DoT, rising competitions in making huge investments in spectrum, infrastructure, and equipment. The question is- will the government take bold steps to revitalise the financial strengths of these service providers? In a nutshell, these are some of the real issues that weaken the prospects of the 5G advent in India.

To put it briefly, the challenge in rolling out 5G services to the nation is a key concern. Our country is brimming with the hope that this technology will change our world profoundly. But India as a nation needs to tackle the hurdles to bring in the 5G ecosystem for the immense social and economic benefits. Needless to say, 5G is, and will be a game-changer for our country.