India Joins Race in 5G Ecosystem

India Joins Race in 5G Ecosystem

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Why In News ?

The Government has constituted High Level 5G India 2020 Forum with three Secretaries of key Ministries/Departments .

FACTS (For Prelims)

What is 5G ?

5G is the term used to describe the next-generation of mobile networks beyond the 4G LTE mobile networks of today. As of mid-2016 there was no standard so the definition is still very fluid. It is assumed that 5G networks will not become commercially available until the 2020 timeframe.

There are currently two definitions of 5G-

i)he hyper-connected vision – In this view of 5G, mobile operators would create a blend of pre-existing technologies covering 2G, 3G, 4G, Wi-fi and others to allow higher coverage and availability, and higher network density in terms of cells and devices, with the key differentiator being greater connectivity as an enabler for Machine-to-Machine (M2M) services and the Internet of Things (IoT). This vision may include a new radio technology to enable low power, low throughput field devices with long duty cycles of ten years or more.

ii)Next-generation radio access technology: This is more of the traditional ‘generation-defining’ view, with specific targets for data rates and latency being identified, such that new radio interfaces can be assessed against such criteria. This in turn makes for a clear demarcation between a technology that meets the criteria for 5G, and another which does not.

NOTE 4 STUDENTS-The primary features of  5G can be summed up as-

i)High speed delivery

ii)Ultra low Latency

iii)High storage Capacity

International Telecommunication Union (ITU)

i)It  is an agency of the United Nations (UN) whose purpose is to coordinate telecommunication operations and services throughout the world. Originally founded in 1865, as the International Telegraph Union, the ITU is the oldest existing international organization.

ii) ITU headquarters are in Geneva, Switzerland.

iii)The ITU sets and publishes regulations and standards relevant to electronic communication and broadcasting technologies of all kinds including radio, television, satellite , telephone and the Internet .

iv)The organization conducts working parties, study groups and meetings to address current and future issues and to resolve disputes. The ITU organizes and holds an exhibition and forum known as the Global TELECOM every four years.

v)Another important aspect of the ITU’s mandate is helping emerging countries to establish and develop telecommunication systems of their own. Although the recommendations of the ITU are non-binding, most countries adhere to them in the interest of maintaining an effective international electronic communication environment.

vi)The ITU consists of three sectors:

-Radiocommunication (ITU-R) -It  ensures optimal, fair and rational use of the radio frequency (RF) spectrum.

-Telecommunication Standardization ( ITU-T ) -It  formulates recommendations for standardizing telecommunication operations worldwide.

-Telecommunication Development (ITU-D) -It assists countries in developing and maintaining internal communication operations


i) As of mid-2016 there was no standard for 5G however it will be ITU which will release the final standard ,it is also being referred to as the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT)-2020.


The term was coined in 2012 by the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R)

It is a program that set the stage for 5G research activities that are emerging around the world.

What is 3GPP?

The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is a collaboration between groups of telecommunications associations, known as the Organizational Partners.

The initial scope of 3GPP was to make a globally applicable third-generation (3G) mobile phone.The scope was later enlarged to include the development and maintenance of various technologies including 5G.

NOTE 4 STUDENTS-The 3GPP is the mobile industry standards body that will submit a proposed specification to the ITU to be part of the IMT-2020 standard. Mobile operators and vendors all participate in the 3GPP specification process.

Generation Primary services Key differentiator Weakness (addressed by subsequent generation)
1G Analogue phone calls Mobility Poor spectral efficiency, major security issues
2G Digital phone calls and messaging Secure, mass adoption Limited data rates – difficult to support demand for internet/e-mail
3G Phone calls, messaging, data Better internet experience Real performance failed to match hype, failure of WAP for internet access
3.5G Phone calls, messaging, broadband data Broadband internet, applications Tied to legacy, mobile specific architecture and protocols
4G All-IP services (including voice, messaging) Faster broadband internet, lower latency


TABLE : Evolution of technology generations in terms of services and performance


ANALYSIS (For Mains)

India is at the cusp of a next generation of wireless technology 5G. 5G has been conceived as a foundation for expanding the potential of the Networked Society. A digital transformation brought about through the power of connectivity is taking place in almost every industry .


Benefits of 5G Technology-

i)As per As per the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) Committee on Digital Economic Policy, it has been stated that 5G technologies rollout will help in-

  1. a) Increasing GDP
  2. b) Creating Employment
  3. c) Digitizing the economy


ii)For India, 5G provides an opportunity for industry to reach out to global markets, and consumers to gain with the economies of scale.


The primary goals of the High Level  forum are to achieve-


i)Early deployment of 5G in India


  1. ii) a globally competitive product development and manufacturing ecosystem targeting 50% of India market and 10% of global market over next 5 to 7 years.


The forum will complement the eco-system by focused actions in the following areas:


i)Research Ecosystem – for IPR development, standards development and proof of concepts through research projects, PPP projects, testbeds and pilot roll-outs.


ii)Regulatory Framework – including spectrum assignments and a start-up friendly regulatory environment to enable leap-frog and embracing of innovative technologies.


iii)Inclusive Business environment – with special focus on investment incentives favourable to start-ups and innovators and enablement of Venture capitalists.


iv)Forum will constitute a number of Steering Committees in different domains.



Applications of  5G –

1.It would act as impetus for technologies like -Virtual Reality,Augmented Reality,Immersive or Tactile Internet.


2.It could be used to develop Autonomous driving or Connected cars.This could result in considerably more efficient and safer use of existing road infrastructure.


3.High bandwidth data networks such as  5G  have the potential to make the concept of a wireless cloud office a reality, with vast amounts of data storage capacity sufficient to make such systems popular.


4.M2M is already used in a vast range of applications but the possibilities for its usage are almost endless through 5G technology.


5.The vision of 5G is becoming clearer as we move closer to 2020. Most experts say 5G will feature network speeds that are blazingly fast at 20 G/bps or higher and have a latency that is mere milliseconds. Not only will people be connected to each other but so will machines, automobiles, city infrastructure, public safety and more.


6.5G networks are also expected to have always-on capabilities and be energy efficient, all of which will likely require new protocols and access technologies.



5G will run on a new “high-spectrum band”, which uses higher frequency signals than 4G. The new band will be much less congested than at present, which will be vital for use with the Internet of Things. However signals won’t be able to travel as far, so there will be need to be more access points positioned closer together.




Question based on topic:

What is  5G ? What are the steps that can be taken to harness this technology ?Discuss.