5G mobile communication technology represents a paradigm shift in the field of communications, as it enables not only human-to-human communications, but also machine-to-machine communications in a digitally connected world with a variety of cases of use.
5G will help boost India’s digital economy to $ 1 trillion by 2025 through increased proliferation of smartphones, increased internet penetration, growth of mobile broadband, data and social media growth.
Main features of 5G technology
- Improved mobile broadband with unprecedented data speeds – almost 20 times faster than 4G speed, typically less than 50mbps.
- Low Latency – 1 millisecond latency for ultra reliable, low latency mission critical applications.
- Internet of Things – can connect an increasing number of devices containing several billion objects.
- In addition to this, 5G also enables network slicing, which allows the same underlying physical network to be used to provide customizable virtual networks. This in turn enables features of interest to specific industries and other user groups.
Telecommunications infrastructure: higher concentration of telecommunications towers and small cells – network densification
The demand for towers is expected to be more than triple to meet the demands of 5G. This would be necessary because 5G will operate in a higher frequency band with lower coverage. While the newer macrotours may not need to be this tall and will be mostly micro / small cells, the number of these micro / small cells will increase dramatically and they might be needed every few feet. It is estimated that about 1000 base station cells per square kilometer will be needed.
The National Broadband mission rightly considered adding 10 lakh mobile towers by 2024 keeping in mind the launch of 5G services in the country.
Fiber connectivity between telecom towers
With a speed almost 100 times faster than a 4G network, it would not be possible to support such high bandwidth on the MW network. Traffic between the towers and from the tower to the core network will require the towers to be connected by fiber optics.
With barely 33% of towers currently connected by fiber and the many more towers / microcells to be deployed, fiber connectivity could be critical to the success of India’s 5G plans.
Bearing in mind the deployment of 5G, the National Broadband Mission rightly envisioned 70% fiber towers by 2024. In terms of OFC, India has around 2.2 million km fiber connectivity. The National Broadband Mission (NBM) aims to increase it to 5.5 million by 2024.
Improved IP 1 reach towards active infrastructure sharing – a must to attract investment and rapid deployment of 5G
5G-based services and applications would require ubiquitous and ubiquitous 5G infrastructure, in which macrocells would have to be supported by many small cells. Thus, timely enhancement of the scope of IP 1 to include active infrastructure sharing by DoT – would prove to be a boon for the telecom industry to attract investment and faster deployment of the 5G network.
Telecommunications, being a capital intensive business, requires huge investments for growth, technological change and expansion. Since IP-1s are neutral hosts, would provide a network with a fast turnaround time for telecom towers, base stations, IBS, small cells, etc. to service providers on a transparent and non-discriminatory basis to telecommunications service providers.
Eliminate digital inequality
5G would need ubiquitous coverage to be successful. Enabling it in a few urban centers would create nothing but access points that wouldn’t provide real 5G use cases. For example, for a patient in a village trying to see a doctor in a city via video call, it would be necessary to ensure that both parties get the right experience requires the network, the app and the content delivery network. (CDN) for everything works in sync.
With the advent of 5G, edge data centers would become commonplace, requiring a high degree of cooperation between operators and CDNs. Applications should be ready and partner with both carriers and CDNs to deliver content smoothly.
5G will deliver beyond traditional voice and data through enabling technologies such as Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Augmented Reality / virtual reality (AR / VR), etc. The deployment of 5G would prove to be a boon even for the post-pandemic world, as digital activation will be permanent and would be further enhanced by the possibility of new applications on 5G.
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