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5G Perspective

Potential of 5G for India’s industrial growth

Most people in India confuse 5G with just another evolution of cellular technology, which will help in getting faster video downloads. That may be just the costly mistake India is making, thinking that 5G is business as usual.  It is not. It is a game changer. 5G, if rightly implemented could make India the next industrial leader and a developed country. 5G is not another technology for mobile operators. It is a technology that will usher in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The difference between the mobile cellular wireless networks of the kind the operators use today for delivering data to our smartphones and 5G can be explained in three words: speed, IOT, and latency.  Many experts believe that 5G will bring in the next Industrial Revolution, sometimes called Industries 4.0.Industrial executives from around the world are agreed that 5G will be the most integral to the digital transformation of Industrial undertakings over the next five years. 5G is a truly transformational technology that will have long-term benefits to be felt across all areas of society. One key example of use of 5G in industrial area is in the automobile factories of the future. As an example, Mercedes car manufacturer in Germany is setting up the world’s first 5G mobile network for automobile production in its Factory 56 as a new project, covering over 20,000 square meters to run the production line. Having their own 5G infrastructure, owned and operated by Mercedes, brings many advantages and is critical part in the implementation of smart manufacturing for the future. 5G network technology allows Mercedes, among other things, to optimize the production processes. With a separate captive network, the manufacturing can be optimized, and made robust by linking production systems and factory together in an intelligent manner, thereby supporting the efficiency and precision of the production process. A captive local 5G network helps Mercedes in ensuring that the sensitive production data is not shared with third parties (e.g. a mobile operator) when enormous quantities of data required for various test scenarios involving the futuristic car is processed.

The potential of 5G for major societal transformation by enabling massive expansion of digital products and services across various vertical application sectors is another major area that needs fuller consideration. 5G is expected to transform cities around the world, and improving environmental, social, and economic aspects of urban life. Underpinned by the increased speed, reliability, and capacity offered by 5G networks, smart cities can become smarter. 5G will also drive the future of IoT – sometimes called machine to machine communications (M2M) – where everything from refrigerators to kitchen appliances to heart machine to bicycles will be connected. Remote surgical procedures will be routinely helping patients in faraway lands where doctors cannot reach.

Not to be left behind, 5G will play a critical part in developing hypersonic weapons and technologies of the future warfare, including fighting drones. The autonomous vehicles of the future that will cruise safely along smart highways will depend on 5G captive networks.

As 5G is expected to transform the way businesses are conducted by enabling delivery of enhanced mobile broadband, mission-critical communications, and massive IoT, (such as connected cars and remote surgery), it will substantially help increase the countries’ GDP. 5G use cases will span across many industry verticals, supporting faster and informed decision making, and enhanced labor productivity. Our 5G strategy should, therefore, be at the heart of Digital India strategy to support Industry 4.0. This will require existing telecom-licensing regime to be reviewed and revised so that cost-effective and timely implementation of 5G for captive networks could be ensured. Special focus should be kept on addressing issues around the deployment of small cells, including lightweight-spectrum licensing for small cells. Having a comprehensive approach is very important. Many countries and regions have established mechanisms, such as a 5G program office and a 5G promotion group, to take a holistic view of 5G deployment.

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