The need for mobile network technology had come into existence just because we desired to communicate and reach out to a person sitting far away from us. But due to human desire, this simple communication method made its transitions through several levels of evolution.
And now, we are on the verge of entering the age of 5G technology that possesses capabilities beyond our expectations. Before, moving on to explain the capabilities of this new 5G technology, we have to first understand how this technology evolved to this level.
Understanding 5G Technology
To better understand 5G, it’s necessary to understand what came before it. Broadly speaking, the first generation of mobile technology, 1G, was all about voice. The ability to use a phone in a car, train, or anywhere else, really took root here.
The rise of 2G presented us with a short-messaging layer, parts of which can still be seen in today’s texting features. Moving towards 3G further provided the essential network speeds for smartphones.
And 4G broke all the records, with its blazing data-transfer rates, that gave rise to many of the connected devices and services that we now rely on and enjoy still to this day.
Comparing it with its predecessors, 5G promises faster data speeds, lower latency and higher bandwidth, making your current mobile networks feel sluggish and outdated. 2021 is supposed to be a big year for 5G, especially in India, as we are patiently waiting for its launch since last year. Since other countries have already launched and have begun utilizing the benefits of this new technology, India has sped up its preparations to welcome 5G in Indian markets.
Aside from our recent talks of 5G, what exactly separates 5G from its previous version i.e., 4G?
At peak speeds, 5G is expected to be 100 times faster than 4G, at least in controlled environment trials. 5G provides a maximum speed capacity of 10Gbps which is 100 times faster than the highest maximum speed of 4G, which is limited to 100 Mbps at maximum.
For example, if downloading an especially heavy file takes around ten minutes on 4G, it would take 5G a matter of few seconds to download the same files, given the 5G is working at its expected speeds. Full HD streaming and attending video meetings with no lag or blur due to high speeds can be made possible with 5G.
5G is also expected to provide faster data transmission accompanied by lower latency. Compared to 4G, that was limited to a ping of 50ms, 5G can go as low as 1ms. Commercially, we can expect a latency of around 10ms from the 5G carriers that are key to the success of self-driving cars, for example.
Key Features of 5G
With its ultra-high speed, 5G has the potential to change the meaning of cell phone usability. Providing a huge array of innovative features, now your smartphone would be more parallel to the laptop.
We can use broadband internet connection with faster data speeds and other significant features that fascinate people are more gaming options, wider multimedia options, connectivity everywhere, zero latency, faster response time, and high-quality sound.
Also, HD videos can now be transferred to another cell phone without compromising the quality of audio and video.
Progress Report of 5G Technology in India
5G network deployment in India is rapidly picking pace, moving from trials to early commercialization. In India, network operators like Airtel, Reliance Jio, etc, had already partnered with vendors like Ericsson, Huawei and Samsung for planned trials, before the service’s commercial rollout in the latter half of 2021.
Bharti Airtel and Huawei had successfully verified India’s first 5G network trial under a test setup at Airtel’s network experience center in Manesar, Gurgaon, achieving a user throughput of more than 3 Gbps.
Bharti Airtel had also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nokia and Ericsson to support the company in its preparations for the 5G rollout.
In December 2020, Jio had declared its plans to launch its 5G network in the second half of 2021, but that does not seem feasible at present.
In a recent parliamentary panel, it was reported that there would be a delay in the launch of 5G technology. A big reason behind this delay is expected to be because of the lack of cash flow, especially for Airtel and Vodafone-Idea due to tight market competition and low data tariffs.
This problem is further highlighted by the fact that the unit pricing for 5G networks is exorbitantly high in India i.e., it is seven times costlier than the UK, 14 times costlier than Australia, 35 times costlier than Spain and 70 times costlier than Austria.
The same parliamentary panel report mentioned above recommended the usage of 4G to continue in India for at least the next five to six years, which led to an auction happening in March for 4G networks.
Therefore, early adoption of 5G in India might take another year and the 5G will be available to the masses in another three or four years.