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5G Perspective

5G – The next generation of communication and the digital revolution

5G is coming this year, but not everyone fully understands the capabilities of this digital transformation and how it could change the way we experience everything. 5G is going to be one step ahead of 4G in terms of speed, which, based on tests, will be around 10 times more than the speed of 4G.

This technology is expected to be different from what we have today. Apart from just being an upgrade to 4G, this is going to revolutionize how we use the internet. From ensuring internet to the remotest location and delivering fast speed data, 5G will also ensure that we are ready for the future.

5G can commit to a future of endless possibilities. The technological developments of 5G will benefit multiple sectors including agriculture, automotive, manufacturing, healthcare, energy & utilities, urban planning, media & entertainment, etc. 4G has already changed the ways in terms of connectivity and communication, and introduced the world to the innovation of apps. And with the fifth generation of the internet, we are going to witness something beyond our expectations. And with the metaverse being introduced to the world, 5G is going to let people explore the full potential of the new internet.

What exactly is 5G and how is it going to benefit the end-user?
The internet has been a part of our lives since the early 80s and it has transformed the dimensions of connectivity. Now with the fifth generation of the internet coming into our lives, we can expect a lot more from the world of technology for the consumers. 5G is majorly focused on three things: high data speeds, low latency, and increased concurrency. Users will be able to enjoy speeds of up to 1Gbps, which is as fast as some of the broadband connections in India – making you download movies and games in a few seconds. With the new generation of the internet, we’ll be able to witness a connected IoT ecosystem, and it will bring all the AI-related benefits directly for the users. Last year, many companies in India began conducting 5G trials in different cities of India. Airtel became the first one to test 5G in Hyderabad in 2020, and plans to bring in the technology to empower Indians with digital transformation.

In fact, that there is a direct correlation between higher internet speed and GDP growth. There is a growing business need for the technology to improve operational efficiency, achieve quicker decision-making capability, and generate cost savings. 5G, which is one of the major drivers for this market, is set to become a new catalyst in the digital economy, generating new growth avenues on the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and other business models. With 5G’s internet speed, users such as entrepreneurs and small business owners sitting in remote areas can work remotely in real-time without any delays due to the ease of access and usage, which will translate to better job opportunities, and thus, an increase in GDP in the long run. According to research firm IDC, out of 55.7 billion connected devices worldwide, about 75 percent will be connected to an IoT platform by 2025.

Basis the findings of multiple research and study groups, there are no negative health effects associated with 5G, contrary to what some people are emphasizing.

To talk about the hidden potential of 5G in the context of India’s favorite sport, cricket, and how 5G will bring the thrill of the stadium right in the viewers’ living rooms. 5G is making this possible by delivering 8K quality streaming to the users’ screens. Enhancing the life-like experience, one can even choose their own camera angles or display multiple angles simultaneously while watching the game. This will all be possible because 5G can deliver vast amounts of data at ultra-high speeds.

For content creators, movie fans, and OTT users, the emergence of 5G networks will bring in better-quality video on mobile devices at much faster speeds, more reliable connections, and lower latencies, which will enhance the content streaming experience for users, like never before. Airtel and TCS have also joined forces to test 5G based use cases from TCS’s Neural Manufacturing suite of solutions. These solutions will help manufacturers build smart, cognitive factories which mimic resilient and adaptive behaviours, as well as will enable remote robotic operations in potentially hazardous environments like mining, chemical plants, and oil & gas fields to safeguard human capital.

Airtel is aiming to bridge the digital divide by enabling access to high-speed broadband through rural 5G trials. Recently the company executed multiple rural trials. With the focus on connectivity, 5G will allow the facilities of high-speed internet, without the hassle of installation of wires, to reach the remotest of areas, which can help the education system to reach the farthest areas across the country. This will help in contributing towards generating employment across regions, helping the younger generation of our country to avail the benefits of quality education directly on their smartphones.

Exploring new innovations with 5G
5G will bring many life-changing innovations, which will allow users to flourish and dramatically change our day-to-day lives, bringing in new connected devices and handling the demands of the progressively digital-savvy consumers, offering a faster and more efficient infrastructure to prepare for a connected future.

With the arrival of the new technology, creating a digital ecosystem will be much easier as all the devices used by individuals including smartphones, watches, tablets, laptops, smart televisions, home devices, and much more. With this speed, we can soon expect 5G-enabled laptops that can fully function on the electronic data sim, which makes it easier for the user to carry and use it anywhere without getting a fear of hacking or malfunctioning of their private data on any open network.

This new generation of the internet will bring expansion of the internet, even to the remotest places of India. This will ensure an increase in delivering facilities like education, health, employment, etc. to the places where facilities can’t reach. 5G will help in creating a better future for those who are unable to get necessities and help them in building a future for themselves.

Are we ready to reap the benefits of 5G?
Speaking of 5G devices, the anticipation of 5G in India has been building up for years now – many manufacturers have already launched the latest 5G smartphones in the country, with more in the pipeline. We are expecting better smartphones and devices this year which will cater to the needs of users of every price segment. Airtel has already started this transformation by building the 5G digital ecosystem with a network of diverse players – including cloud providers, managed security providers, enterprises, and technology partners offering a host of services. The movement and interest towards 5G readiness are strong and that reflects in the upward curve as the industry prepares for its commercial rollout.

According to the Ericsson Mobility Report, 4.4 billion 5G subscriptions are forecast for the end of 2027 globally, equalling around half of all mobile subscriptions at that time. 5G will represent around 39 percent of mobile subscriptions in India at the end of 2027, estimated at about 500 million subscriptions. The average traffic per smartphone in India is projected to grow to around 50GB per month in 2027.

Globally, some countries have already witnessed Greenfield 5G deployments and there are regions where the commercial deployment of 5G is happening faster, enabled by spectrum availability. The Indian government has not announced a frequency auction date for 5G yet, but according to various reports, it could be expected in the second quarter of 2022. 5G will launch across the country at the same time, with special emphasis on areas lacking internet access, which in turn means that the rates for 5G will be competitive, but the volume of data consumed by consumers will be quite high.

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