5G Technology: Applications, 5G in India, 5G Technology UPSC

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

5G Technology Network is the next generation of wireless communication. It’s much faster and able to connect with more devices than the existing 4G LTE network. China is the first country to officially announce its entry into the 5G era. 5G Technology is ready to start in India by October as per government planning. 5G is a 5th-generation mobile wireless standard network after 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G.

From autonomous vehicles and smart cities to virtual and augmented reality, 5G technology has the potential to transform every aspect of our lives. In this article, we will explore the key features of 5G technology in India, the benefits it offers, and the challenges that need to be addressed in order to realize its full potential.

What is 5G Technology?

5G Technology stands for fifth-generation cellular networks, which is the most advanced and fastest wireless technology available currently. After 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G, 5G opens a new world of possibilities and will provide higher multi-Gbps peak data speeds. This will help make communication smooth, improve efficiency, enable faster streaming and support not just working professionals but also online learners to do more by using the power of the internet.

5G Technology UPSC Notes

5G Technology will bring more dependability, extremely low latency, a massive network, and increased availability with a fast data speed. 5G Technology will be able to share a huge amount of data and connect people; things virtually have the capacity to store, process, and transmit a huge amount of data at high speed.

Read: Nanotechnology

Generation Of Mobile Network Before 5G

Before 5G Technology, we had four more networks, which are used extensively for various things, but the introduction of 5G Technology will change the whole scenario of the digital world; let’s talk about some previous networks used in the past and present.

  • 1G: It was introduced in 1980 on radio signal and supported only voice calls
  • 2G: It was introduced in 1990 on radio signal and supported voice and data both
  • 3G: It was introduced in 2000. It has the best speed and support for calling, video, and conferencing.
  • 4G: it was launched in 2010, with a peak speed of 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps supporting 3D virtual reality; this is the network on which we are relying is present.

5G Technology Spectrum Bands

5G Technology operates on three different spectrum bands.

  1. Low-band spectrum – offering exceptional coverage area and wall penetration
  2. Mid-band spectrum – provides faster speed and lower latency. However, building penetration is lower than the Low-band spectrum.
  3. High-band spectrum – offers the highest speed, but the coverage area and building penetration are significantly compromised.

5G Technology Applications

The fifth generation of wireless technology, or 5G, is poised to revolutionize the way we live, work, and communicate. Some of the most promising applications of 5G technology are:

  • Faster data processing– 5G Technology has a latency rate of 1 millisecond and a speed range of 20Gbps and more. Thus data collected from various sources can be processed at a fast pace.
  • High-speed mobile network– 5G will reduce buffering and enhance the download speed on our mobiles. It’ll also help in good-quality video calling and conferencing.
  • Internet of Things– 5G Technology will boost development in the field of IoT.
  • Artificial intelligence– 5G has added advantages for machine learning, robotics, and other programming modules. It can provide faster processing of data.
  • Education– Due to Covid-19, Online learning has gained a lot of momentum. But the speed of the internet set up a big hurdle in digital education. 5G Technology can help in faster connectivity and a better learning experience. It’ll also open new avenues for learning.
  • Health sector– 5G Technology will help in the field of Telemedicine and biotechnology. It will help in spreading access to medical services to far-fledged areas.
  • Employment Opportunities– 5G will open new areas of employment in various sectors like the I.T. sector, construction sector, and Cyber sector. According to an estimate, it can lead to employment opportunities for almost 5 crore youth in India.
  • Government Services– 5G Technology can help in better access and last-mile access to Government services for the citizens. It will help foster public grievance redress and ensure transparency and accountability in government services.
  • Global competitiveness– India can boost its Make in India program and also compete with China in terms of the 5G Technology rollout. To meet the pace of global technology, India needs to speed up its 5G research.

Difference Between 5G Vs 4G Network

Both are so different from each other in many factors. 4G is the one which we are using at present and 5G Technology we will going to use in the coming time.

4G Technology Network

  • 4G uses low frequencies of 700 to 2500 MHZ
  • It has a low speed and might get interrupted by other signals
  • Less capacity to transfer and process data
  • It supports lesser devices

5G Technology Network

  • It uses the highest frequency of 28 GHz
  • 5G Technology has the highest speed with less interruption
  • Provides very easy and quick transfer and process of data easily
  • 5G Technology can support many devices within the same geographical area.

Benefits of 5G Technology

With faster speeds, lower latency, and greater capacity, 5G technology has the potential to transform many aspects of our lives. The major benefits of 5G Technology include –

  • Enhanced Mobile Connectivity: With smartphones and new devices supporting 5G technology, which helps make smartphones a lot more efficient.
  • Mission Critical Communications: Being ultra-reliable and having faster speeds, 5G is ideal for communication, including video calling, which requires high-speed internet.
  • Internet of Things: In the future, smart devices will be in vogue and can use 5G Technology to seamlessly connect a massive number of embedded sensors used to make everyday electronic appliances and devices’ smart’. The interconnected devices enable users to easily make decisions, automate processes and even get things done a lot more efficiently.
  • Enabler of the fourth industrial revolution combines the power of Cloud, Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Edge Computing, Automation, IoT, and others.

Challenges for Rolling Out 5G Technology

Before establishing the 5G Technology spectrum, there are huge challenges that India has to face and has to tackle. Let’s talk about some major challenges.

Spectrum Cost

India faced a huge challenge during the auction of the 5G band, but somehow India took a pragmatic approach and tackled this issue by providing benefits like payment of spectrum in installments, which reduced the cost and burden on the telecom company. Although India tried a lot, the cost of the spectrum is going high, and the companies are now facing financial issues, which cause problems in the allocation of the spectrum.

Digital Infrastructure

Before establishing 5G, it is important to build suitable digital infrastructure for the 5G network, just like in the U.K., South Korea, or the U.S. India should also do this before installing the 5G Technology network. In South Korea, they fiberized all the towers and networks and built infrastructure for a new network with the help of the government and companies to make a suitable environment for 5G technology. India needs to do such things before installment, and the whole process is very costly, so India should also be prepared according to that. India’s 5G Technology adoption is late compared to other countries where services are available to More than 50 cities. This can affect India’s revenue in the country. Many telecom companies have to bear the dual cost, as they have to manage 4G with 5G both together, and maintaining and managing the tower of both will be very costly for companies planning for 5G Technology.

Affect Navigation

Another challenge many are saying is that the 5G Technology spectrum could add a lot of interference in the aircraft navigation system. In the U.S., around 7 planes are canceled due to navigation problems, which might be due to 5G. 5G Technology network will also create electromagnetic fields, which can cause hams to many species, humans, and wildlife species, animals, it can affect their livelihood and life extensively.

5G Hardware

India’s ban on the import of foreign hardware manufacturing products will become a major challenge for India in this 5G era, as most 5G Technology hardware is bought from foreign and If India does not import this hardware, then they have to set up their manufacturing plant for the production of equipment suitable for 5G which can again add the cost to 5G spectrum. All costs can add liabilities to the consumer and will make it costly for the consumer.

Government’s Initiatives for 5G Technology

In India, after government deploys 5G Technology, they also have to take some other actions that are necessary before serving services to customers.

  • The First step of the government is to find suitable customers for service. Initially, the government must find to whom they are providing their services too, with what frequency, as it can help them discover their user requirement of services or their purpose.
  • As we discussed above that, how much it costs to deploy 5G Technology services in India, and which cannot be funded by Indian investors alone, so the government of India has to open doors for foreign direct investment by encouraging them to invest in the telecom sector, through fulfilling their interest, This will help to reduce the cost services and reduce the liability from the consumer so that they can enjoy the services freely.
  • As the initial cost of deploying the 5G spectrum is high, which will increase the cost of the services for 2 to 3 years, the government should cut taxes on the spectrum for better consumption.
  • At present, government and telecom companies need to provide service at a lower cost to convince the customer to switch from 4G to 5G Technology; once they got switch then, it will become easy to increase the price, as it leads to an increase in consumption of content due to high speed and no latency, which are attracting feature of the network.
  • Today the government has complete control over the spectrum, without any intervention by anyone, so the government can provide support to telecom companies to roll out the services at an affordable price, which can improve the consumption and the likeability of 5G Technology.

5G Technology in India

The Indian government recognizes the importance of 5G Technology for the nation’s future and has outlined it in India’s National Digital Communications Policy 2018. It highlights the importance of 5G Technology for the convergence of a cluster of revolutionary technologies, including Cloud Computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Data Analytics. However, the key impediments to the 5G Technology rollout in India are:

  • Lower Fiber Connectivity, which currently stands at only 30% of telecom towers. The nation needs to double this number to make the 5G rollout smoother.
  • The ban on foreign telecom OEMs presents a hurdle as it creates a high dependence on ‘Make in India’ hardware.
  • 5G Technology spectrum pricing is costlier than the global average and will need a more efficient setup to decrease overall pricing.
  • A huge gap in the rural and urban networks needs to be bridged by deploying different band spectrums.
  • 5G networks have the power to change the way we live and think. It’s a great opportunity for India to boost its telecom sector and ensure global competitiveness.
  • For wider and equal deployment of 5G India needs to ensure that it overcomes the challenges related to infrastructure and spectrum sales. This will help in taking the benefits of 5G Technology as soon as possible.

5G Technology UPSC

5G Technology Network is an important topic that comes under Science and Technology UPSC Syllabus. It is covered in the static portion of the UPSC Syllabus and has got great relevance in Prelims Exam. Aspirants must cover the 5G technology topic comprehensively, by understanding the concept of 5G, its benefits, applications, and where India stands in adopting 5G. It is recommended to go through the best Science and Technology UPSC Books along with the notes for effective preparation.

5G Technology UPSC Questions

Question: What is the main advantage of 5G technology over 4G technology? A) Higher speed B) Lower latency C) Increased network capacity D) All of the above

Answer: D) All of the above

Question: Which of the following technologies is expected to be revolutionized by 5G technology? A) Augmented reality B) Virtual reality C) Autonomous vehicles D) All of the above

Answer: D) All of the above

Question: Which of the following countries was the first to launch 5G technology? A) China B) United States C) South Korea D) Japan

Answer: C) South Korea

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