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The capability of the country to have the appetite for endless adoption of successive technologies is directly proportional to the economic performance and the quality of life and ease of living that country provides to it’s citizens. Needless to say, one technology builds on the other, on associated technologies and that is how the potential; financial and technical and expertise creation leads to an enabling ecosystem.

Well known to us, we have been missing on technology waves since the beginning and that it has always been a catching up act, which most of the times has not been successful. The applications & horizontal extension of those technologies as the time passes by starts looking humongous and the people who need most are left out of the race. The basics are reaching but that is not enough for the change they need. 5G is the communication backbone of the future, we can’t afford to be laggard. India cannot afford to miss out as in the case of 3G and 4G as it is said the economic impact alone of this superfast wireless broadband technology is estimated at over $1.35 trillion by 2035. This should be treated as conservative given the nature of communication capabilities it unleashes.

5G can deliver a peak download speed of 10 -50 Gbps on smart phones, 4000 times faster than a 4G connection. It would not just connect smartphones but also cars, homes, machines, robots, home gadgets or even a dog collar. Enabling Machine to machine (M2M) communication, it will literally transform anything: smart cities, smart grids, smart health and smart transportation. Download a full HD movie a second & remotely manage your home’s security. Latency can brought down to 1 millisecond, request fulfillment would be instantaneous.

Technology is great, where does India stand. Experts say we are running late by at least three years behind South Korea, US, Japan, Germany etc. 5G would hit the pioneer markets by late 2019 or early 2020. The missing links are; only 20% mobile towers are fiberized – 75-80% needed, internet penetration only 19%, only 19 out of 29 states have aligned Right to Way policies, Indian telecom industry is sadlled with over Rs.7 lakh crores debt, high proposed 5G spectrum base price etc. The pitfalls are many, the effort has to be humongous.


Sanjay Sahay

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