To maintain a pace and compete with the leading developed economies of the world, the adoption of 5G will have an important role to play in India. From smart cities to industrial automation, connected devices, big data and cloud computing, 5G is envisaged to be the key driver for the Indian industry toward a better future, and to be able to compete and succeed globally. It will help drive sustainable economic growth and define India’s next decade of innovation.
With the rapid growth of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in recent years, and the limited spectrum, the lifespan of cellular technology is getting shorter. 2G and 3G have been sunsetted to make room for the more spectrum-efficient 4G LTE (all-IP network) and emerging 5G technologies. The main differences between 5G and previous generations of cellular networks lie in 5G’s strong focus on machine-type communication and the IoT. The capabilities of 5G thus extend far beyond mobile broadband, with ever-increasing data rates.
5G is envisaged to be the key driver for the Indian industry toward a better future, and to be able to compete and succeed globally.
5G supports three essential types of communication – enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine-type communication (mMTC), and ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC). In particular, 5G supports communication with unprecedented reliability, ultra-low latencies, and also massive IoT connectivity.
Industry 4.0 – the next era in industrial production – is targeting major improvements in terms of enhanced flexibility, versatility, usability, and efficiency. Meeting these objectives depends on 5G features and performance. Essential to the Industry 4.0 vision for industrial manufacturing to deliver seamless integration across all automation layers is the integration of IoT and related services and features, such as a peak data rate of 1–20 Gbps; connection density 1 thousand to 1 million devices/km2; reliability of 99.999 percent; enhanced battery life of 10 years; higher position accuracy; latency 1–10 minutes; and strong privacy and security.
Key vertical domains with a compelling need for automation include the following:
Factories of the future. Physical production systems, based on ubiquitous and powerful connectivity and computing infrastructure, are considered to be the key enabler to achieving the primary goals of Industry 4.0. The vast majority of existing communication technologies used in industry are still wire-bound, using interconnecting sensors, actuators, and controllers in an automation system. 5G wireless connectivity is expected to enable major change by providing flexibility, mobility, versatility, and ergonomics, which are stated as key requirements for the factories of the future – by contributing significantly to revolutionizing goods productivity, shipping, and services.
Health. Automation in this vertical is about transforming healthcare through mobile health delivery, personalized medicine, remote monitoring and care, and social media eHealth applications. Because medical data is very sensitive and private, a high degree of reliability in transporting the data is required. 5G mobile is expected to play a significant role in advancing this aspect.
Smart city. A smart city infrastructure is a foundation to drive synergistic outcomes across multiple departments, provide a safer, cleaner city, enable new revenue streams, and unleash the exponential growth of a new economy. A 5G smart city infrastructure is the future – with its ability to support a denser and more economical rollout of sensors and devices supporting higher throughput, along with longer battery life.
Electrical power distribution. The energy sector is in the process of evolution toward renewable energy, with a large number of power plants based on solar, wind, and other sources of power. With the introduction of 5G in smart grids, it is expected that wireless connectivity can provide a higher degree of flexibility, mobility, versatility, and ergonomics, and can fundamentally revolutionize how electric energy is monitored, stored, and controlled.
Central power generation. This vertical is concerned with centralized power generation, which is the conversion of chemical energy and other forms of energy into electrical energy. Automation using 5G in this vertical domain uses low-latency and connectivity features to provide compelling benefits.
Automotive industries. 5G technology in the automotive industry will unlock opportunities for connected cars, connected bus stops, smart metros, and autonomous vehicles. Such facilities will translate into ecosystem scalability, navigation and augmented reality, fleet monitoring, safety, and sustainability.
With multiple deployments around the world, 5G technology is unlocking new applications with high-speed connectivity and completely redefining the network, and thus establishing a truly global wireless standard for speed, throughput, and bandwidth.