DailyPost 2062

What transformational changes have been brought to our lives, through the journey mankind has traversed from 2G to 4G. Today, 5G is all set to change the world we live beyond recognition. Web3, blockchain and metaverse are the technologies of the day, already well known, the research & development and taking it all to a robust stage will define our future. The C part of the ICT will be taken care of by 5G and anybody who lags behind will be left out of the race. In telecommunications, 5G is the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks, which cellular phone companies started deploying in 2019. There are three dimensions of any technology, one is development of the technology, second is the creation of technical infrastructure, which is cost intensive and third is to create more and more use cases for production.

For the first and second dimensions of this technology, we have world leaders in this field and huge telecom giants; Indian and MNCs, who will do the bidding. The third component is the use case story where the Indian govt. wants to pitch in a big way. On Tuesday, 17th of May, 2022, PM Modi inaugurated the country’s first 5G test bed, to enable the StartUps and industry players to test the products locally. This is momentous as it will reduce India’s dependence in this sector on facilities aboard. Set up at a cost of Rs. 220 crores, it has ambitions of self-reliance in the sector. India has its own 5G standard, 5Gi, which will help in taking the technology available to the remotest corners. The PM also gave an inkling into his vision of 6G. Three issues will be critical as we move forward; the true world class tech enablement, which includes management process and a host of other connected issues.

The second issue is whether this centre will provide state of art mentoring and handholding facilities, neither a startup or not even a medium sized company will be able to manage on its own, if only the facility was thrown open to him. The third and most critical issue is having passed this stage, we can call it the prototype stage; will the country have the wherewithal to take it into large scale production. Revolutionary technologies generally come with an unaffordable price line. This has to be thought over in advance otherwise the last bottleneck will spoil the whole party. For the record, what can 5G do? There is a counter answer: what it cannot do. We will get into an illustrative list of what it can do, suffice to say, it has data transfer speed of 100 times or more from the current, literally doing away with latency.

Though the benefits are humungous, the cost is also huge. An indication of it comes from the trail run in Japan and the US, even with a relatively high-end infrastructure already available, it may range from $6 million for a small city and $60 million of a densely populated city. These figures are indicative in nature. The 5G revolution will be the real propellent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Industry 4.0, the IOT revolution solely dependent on it, to perform miraculously. Data and that too dynamic and real time becomes the king. 5G in India may encompass enhanced outdoor and indoor broadband, smart cities, smart agriculture, energy monitoring, remote monitoring, smart grids, telehealth, industrial automation, remote patient monitoring, and industrial automation. The list can be endless. 5G is the real precursor of Web3 and Metaverse, the new universe we are getting into.

Sanjay Sahay

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