- At present the whole world is using 4G cellular communication technology, and a good number of users are still using 2G & 3G services.
- Now, the world is looking towards implementing 5th generation cellular communication technology, which will have approximately 10 to 20 times faster internet speeds than the present 4G technology. And it will also have low latency, which means if a sender sends message, receiver will receive it in less than a millisecond. At present with 4G, it takes 30-70 milliseconds for the transmission from sender to receiver. 5G has lot of benefits… for example with such faster internet speeds and low latency, doctors can remotely perform surgeries, and also helps in developing advanced applications in various sectors.
- US, China, Japan & South Korea are already testing 5G services in their countries and especially US & China are in a race to become the first country in fully implementing 5G services.
- India is also planning to roll out 5G services by 2020.
- In 2017, Indian government has set up Rs. 500 crores fund for Research & Development of 5G Technology and thereby to roll out 5G by 2020, and it is also planning to auction 5G spectrum by January 2020. so Indian government is ready for this transition.
- Internet users and hence the data consumption is increasing at a rapid rate in India. So, telecom companies can safely invest in 5G technology & can expect returns.
- Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited, Mukesh Ambani has already said that Jio’s network is fully 5G ready & so, it is planning to roll out 5G services in India by 2020
- Not all telecom companies are ready for 5G yet. Vodafone, one of the biggest telecom service provider in India is not in favor of auctioning 5G spectrum in 2020. They are in the opinion that India does not need 5G services yet.
- Airtel is not happy with the current prices of 5G spectrum auction.
- The main reason behind all these things is that Indian telecom sector is in a huge debt of approximately 8 lakh crore rupees as of 2019. So, telecom companies do not afford to invest in the 5G technology.
- They Did not get returns on the investment they put on 4G, telecom companies faced this situation with 3G too. They could not reap the benefits of the investment they put on 3G.
- Till Sep 2016, many people were using 2G services because 3G services were expensive at that time. But when Jio launched cheap 4G services in September 2016, many users started buying 4G mobile to use 4G services. Though the main reason is the cheap prices of 4G, another important reason for this is… there is a lot of difference between 3G & 4G. With 4G, video calls services and the internet browsing speeds have improved a lot. So, people made the switch. But now many people may not invest in buying 5G handsets, because the present internet speeds are already enough for many people. And definitely 5G services will be expensive considering the investment telecom service provides are going to invest. People may not be interested in spending more. So, there is a fear in telecom service providers that whether they will get returns or not.
- And as per the studies on 5G technology, it has security loopholes, because it is still in the starting stages. So, it is better to wait till the ecosystem is fully developed.
- India’s 4G internet speed is very low when compared with other countries. So, Launching 5G services will face the same issue. So, we cannot say that India is ready without upgrading the infrastructure first.
India is ready to implement 5G at par with the global launch, but we cannot expect full transition soon. It may take a few more years for the full transition to take place.