- The central government is expecting to auction 5G spectrum in 2019.
- This article is about pros and cons of rushing to implement 5G technology in near future in India.
About 5G Technology
Current status and problems in mobile telephony in India
- Network congestion
- Over the last 18-24 months, 4G has increased the amount of data consumption.
- 82% of the growth in mobile traffic in India in 2017 came from 4G.
- The traffic grew 135% year over year, driven by video, which contributed 65-75% of total mobile data traffic.
- This shows that the rapid growth of 4G in India has strained networks.
- Low connectivity/poor speed
- A report ranks India’s 4G Internet connectivity abysmally low at 109th position in a list of 124 countries, even lower than Pakistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka.
- Demand of 5G ecosystem in India
- Fifth-generation wireless (5G) is the latest iteration of cellular technology, engineered to greatly increase the speed and responsiveness of wireless networks.
- The 5G ecosystem in India is gaining momentum.
- The latest-generation network equipment is largely 5G-ready.
- However, In India the technologies that will increase users to demand higher speeds and more bandwidth are still not ready. For ex. IoT, etc.
Arguments in favour of 5G network in India
- High speed: On a 5G network, wireless data can travel more than 10 times faster than most 4G networks and will compete with fibre-to-the-home wireline broadband.
- Congestion relief: Network operators can use 5G to decrease the mobile and video congestion.
- For industries
- Once IoT gains momentum, the largest opportunity by 5G network will be in manufacturing, energy and utilities, followed by public safety and health sectors.
- With this, their revenue is expected to grow up to $63 billion by 2026, according to report.
Arguments Against 5G network in India
- No immediate business: A recent survey by executives of the 19 largest mobile network operators (MNOs) worldwide reveals that there is long term potential of 5G but there is no compelling, near-term business for 5G.
- Investment: Implementing 5G will require huge capital investments.
- If we use existing infrastructure, as 5G-capable devices can seamlessly connect to the existing 4G cells, it can prevent huge capital expenditure.
- Operators can make full use of existing assets and can develop multi-year roll-out plans according to the demand and development of 5G technology.
- This can be done with lesser capital investments.
- This will enable the operators to create a virtuous cycle of 5G reinvestment-
- Gradually building or upgrading to an all-digital 5G network.
- Using the cash flow generated by these efficiencies to invest in high efficient/revenue cases.