Last week, as the 5G spectrum auction drew to a close, India entered the league of nations possessing this coveted technology. According to the government, 5G services will start in the country by the end of this year or early 2023. In particular, global telecom operators, Internet companies and mobile operators have been planning for years to implement and use 5G technology with easy accessibility and feasible operations. As global technological scenarios change with the advent of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT), experts say 5G technology will be the quintessence of Industrial Revolution 4.0.
As the global telecom industry prepares for 5G technology, experts say that despite several benefits, 5G has many obscure aspects that would require detailed discussion between industry leaders and governments worldwide.
Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of 5G technology:
Benefits of 5G technology
High speed- One of the biggest benefits of 5G technology is its ability to work faster on cellular and other devices. Unlike its predecessors – 2G, 3G, 4G and 4G LTE, where downloading movies, videos, music and streaming services would have taken hours, with 5G technology these tasks become much easier as downloading takes just a few seconds lasts. In addition, according to experts, one sector where 5G technology will add value is the gaming industry, which is booming worldwide. An average user can use up to 20 Gbps of internet with this technology.
Latency- Compared to its predecessors, 5G technology has low latency, which makes it easier to support other new technologies such as artificial intelligence, IoT and virtual reality, which is another great benefit of 5G technology. In addition, due to its low latency, it makes browsing easier, thus improving the customer experience.
bandwidth With increased bandwidth, 5G technology offers seamless data transfer, improving connectivity between devices and the overall user experience. In addition, the technology provides users with a seamless transition of services between cellular devices and wireless WiFi, improving performance. This is another benefit of 5G technology. In addition, fewer 5G towers would also provide users with improved bandwidth.
Disadvantages of 5G technology
Limited coverage: While 5G technology is touted for having the fastest speeds, one of the limitations of this technology is its presence only in select cities worldwide with 5G towers. Although global companies and governments are working to bring 5G to as many cities as possible, rollout and implementation would take years because testing, testing and deploying 5G towers is an expensive process.
Weak upload speeds: Experts believe that despite its ability to have faster download speeds, 5G technology will have lower upload speeds compared to 4G and 4G LTE. This is another disadvantage of 5G technology.
Battery damage: Another limitation of 5G technology is that it weakens the cellular device by draining the battery and shortening its lifespan. So far, few manufacturers have introduced handsets that are 5G friendly. While research and development to manufacture 5G devices is underway, the technology is proving to be a bane on 4G devices as it often leads to battery damage, according to experts.
Disruption of airport and flight operations: In January this year, several airlines, including Air India, canceled their flights to the US as the country’s telecom operators attempted to roll out 5G operations in the country. According to the US Federal Aviation Administration, one of the main reasons for the cancellation of flights was the interference of technology in flight operations. Although this issue has not been encountered in other countries that have rolled out 5G services, this is another limitation of 5G technology.
Cyber Security Risk: Another disadvantage of 5G technology is that it increases the risk of hacking, thus compromising cybersecurity. In addition, the lack of encryption during the connection process also makes 5G technology devices easier targets for cyber attacks and data theft.
5G technology in India
In India, the 5G spectrum auction began on July 26 and ended on August 1, with the government raising a whopping Rs 1,50,173 crore through the bids. The government had put 72 GHz radio waves up for sale in 10 bands, 71 percent of which were sold. Frequency bands available for sale include: low (600MHz, 700MHz, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2300MHz, 2500MHz), medium (3300MHz) and high (26GHz).
Led by Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Jio emerged as the winner of the tender across multiple frequency bands including the covered 700MHz band valued at Rs 88,078 crore. Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel took second place after buying 19,867 MHZ radio waves worth Rs. 43,084. While struggling telecom company Vodafone-Idea Limited (VIL) bought spectrum worth Rs 18,784 crore, Adani Group bought spectrum bands worth Rs 212 crore.