Differentiate between 4G and 5G technologies while throwing light upon current challenges towards adoption of 5G Wireless technology in India.

Published: January 25, 2018

Indian Standards for 5G have still not been finalised and are expected to be ready by 2018. The government has plans to roll out the technology after 2022. The upcoming 5G Wireless technology is different from current 4G technology in many aspects. Some of the key differences are as follows:

  • 5G is the next-generation of mobile networks beyond the currently available 4G LTE mobile networks.
  • 5G will provide a wider pipeline and will replace home Wi-Fi networks offering nearly ten times faster speed than 4G.
  • The data bandwidth for 4G generally lies between 2Mbps to 1Gbps, while for 5G it would be above1Gbps.
  • 5G promises 1ms latency in network communications which is smaller compared to 4G
  • 5G technology will provide for low battery consumption and offer more secure features compared to that of 4G.
  • 5G networks as planned will operate in a high-frequency band (between 30GHz and 300 GHz) that enables data transfer at a very high speed.

Challenges to implementation of 5G technology in India are as follows:
Right of Way challenge– This involves delay in approval from government departments for the execution of telecom works. The rolling out of 5G technology brings need for installation of new antennas, new fibres, new devices, and new applications for wireless data. Therefore, liberal RoW rules are must for expediting the process.
Funding and technology Issues– Telecom projects are highly capital intensive and require frequent upgradation of technologies. The rolling out of 5G technology therefore requires domestic and foreign investment in the form of fund as well as technology support from the developed countries.
Essential role of fibre in 5G- Proper connection of cellular towers to optical fibres is the first and the foremost need for effective implementation of 5G technology in the country. As per recent available data only 15 per cent of total towers in the country are well connected to optical fibres. Upgrading this connectivity to nearly 100 per cent will require significant time.

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