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Saturday, 02 February 2019 08:20

5G The Game Changer

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Fifth-generation wireless (5G) is the latest cellular technology, engineered to greatly increase the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks. With 5G, data transmitted over wireless broadband connections could travel at rates as high as 20 Gbps by some estimates -- exceeding wireline network speeds -- as well as offer latency of 1 ms or lower for uses that require real-time feedback. 5G will also enable a sharp increase in the amount of data transmitted over wireless systems due to more available bandwidth and advanced antenna technology.

Telcos, telecom gear makers and network providers all over the world have started working towards deployment of 5G technology with a vision of omnipresence of 5G service spanning; everything from mobile and VR to car AI and home TV applications. European countries, India, China, South Korea and other countries are on their way to commercialize 5G technologies. Interference consistent performance delivery remains the key limitation today though. Globally, standards around 5G are expected to be finalized this year.

The networks will help power a huge rise in Internet of Things (IoT) technology, providing the infrastructure needed to carry huge amounts of data, allowing for a smarter and more connected world.

With development well underway, 5G networks are expected to launch across the world by 2020, working alongside existing 3G and 4G technology to provide speedier connections that stay online no matter where you are.

US based telcos and gear makers plan to roll out 5G for commercial use in between 2019-2020. AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile are working individually towards bringing advanced LTE technologies, 5G microcells like mobile chip sized modems, Massive MIMO and high band 5G solutions. The telcos have partnered with device makers like Samsung, Qualcomm, Ericsson and Nokia, and are working towards a planned deployment of mobile 5G by 2020.

 

India Goes 5G

Indian government also plans to deploy 5G across the country by 2020. Airtel deployed India's first Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) in Bangalore and Kolkata, which has been claimed to be India’s first 5G capable network.

The initial plan is to provide 10GBPS broadband speed in the urban areas. Areas of deliberation include issues of taxes, appropriate band, spectrum availability, and spectrum pricing. Ericsson, the world’s largest telecom gear maker, is ready to offer its 5G-ready network solutions to Indian telcos as soon as the compatible spectrum is available.

Telecom Standards Development Society, India, as one of the members of 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project), is representing India in discussions worldwide on 5G standards.

India wants to lead in the upcoming 5G technology and wants to have its own IPR becoming a part of 5G in global standards says telecom sectretary Aruna Sundararajan. Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has invited incumbent telcos- Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) in addition to network vendors such as Cisco, Ericsson, Huawei, Samsung and Nokia to undertake 5G-based pilots on spectrum allocated for a year for free, and showcase India-centric use cases by early 2019. A high level 5G committee has been set up of the DoT and more sectors to work on use cases, roadmap to 5G, to setup an ecosystem, budgetary provisions of spectrum and its regulations.

The government in tandem with Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is preparing for a mega spectrum auction of a total of 8,293 Mhz units including frequencies in the 3300-3600 Mhz band range used for 5G services. Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) said auction of 5G spectrum will happen around second half of 2019 as it would offer telcos better visibility into market dynamics and potential revenue streams of the next-generation mobile services.

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