5G in India, Everything you need to know 

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Shweta Routh
Shweta Routh
Shweta Routh is a third-year student at KIIT University's School of Mass Communication. Her ambition is to become a good journalist and serve her country. She is a classical dancer who enjoys meeting new people and trying new things.

People worldwide are witnessing the evolution of mobile networks. From voice calls to the introduction of the 5th generation (5g), the world has come much far. According to the reports, about 30% of the nations in the world have already implemented 5G. 

While leading nations are enjoying 5G, India is still at a stage where the government struggles with implementing the 5G network. The hindrance is at every level, such as market readiness, regulatory structure, or financial viability. 

Will India be able to implement 5G?

A 5G trial is already ongoing in India, using indigenous and foreign technologies. It was already confirmed by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) that in 2022, India would launch 5G. Previously, the DoT had stated that the 5G project would be finished by December 31, 2022.

 As per Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, the government plans to auction off the 5G spectrum, including airwaves, in early June. Following the auction, the government may begin providing 5G services to residents in the 13 cities in August and September of this year. 

Bengaluru, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Gandhinagar, Hyderabad, Gurugram, Jamnagar, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Pune, Delhi, and Mumbai are among the 13 cities that will receive 5G service. 

According to reports, the 5G testbed initiative is funded by the Department of Telecom and costs Rs 224 crore (US$ 30.2 million).

The government launched the first 5G spectrum auction in India, with the Telecom Regulation Authority of India (TRAI) setting the base fee for 5G in India airwaves of 3.3 to 3.6 GHz at Rs 492 crore (US$ 66.4 million) per unit.

Do 5G frequencies cause any intervention for aircraft in India?

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is concerned about the effects of 5G. According to an FAA bulletin, 5G airwaves may interfere with an aircraft’s radar altimeter, which is a critical piece of equipment that measures the plane’s height from the ground below. The primary question is whether the same consequences could apply in India. Does it cause any intervention for Indian aircraft? 

During a conference, the communications and I.T. minister, Ashwini Vaishnav, stated that Indian aircraft would not face any issues with the 5G service. He explained that the frequencies used to render the next-generation technology are different from those used by altimeters in the plane.

He further explained why it is an issue for the United States (U.S.) but not India. In the U.S., especially in older aircraft, the altimeter frequency is close to that used to render 5G services. Whereas in India, the frequency used by altimeters in India is very different from the frequencies used for 5G services. As a result, the issue of interference will not affect India.

The confirmation comes after Air India cancelled eight flights to the United States earlier this month, causing widespread disruptions in air travel due to fears about the impact of 5G services on radar altimeters and auto-pilot systems in the United States. Later, the airline resumed Boeing 777 service to the country.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) had previously warned that 5G signals in the C spectrum band, which ranges from 3.3 to 4.2 GHz, can interfere with aircraft altimeter systems, which generally operate in the 4.2 to 4.4 GHz range. 

In India, aircraft altimeter systems operate on C-band airwaves from 4.2 GHz and above, rather than the 3.3-3.67 GHz spectrum proposed for auction for 5G services.

Which telecom operator will offer 5G services?

Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea, and MTNL have each been allotted a spectrum for 5G testing by the Department of Telecom. 

According to reports, Jio, Airtel, and even Vodafone have already established trial sites in the 13 cities where 5G services are expected to be available. Bharti Mittal, CEO of Airtel, confirmed that the company’s 5G network is ready for deployment and will begin shortly after the auction is completed.

Whereas, Jio claims to have finished planning for 5G coverage in over 1000 of the largest and most populated cities. The telecom company has stated that 5G will be implemented in India in stages.

Jio has also claimed to be conducting advanced use case trials on its 5G network in healthcare and industrial automation.

Why is 5G superior?

The first country to offer 5G (or 5th generation) service was South Korea in 2019. KT Corporation, LG Uplus, and SK Telecom, all based in South Korea, have launched the 5th generation. 5G is already available in major Canadian cities.

According to some experts, 5G is expected to be 20 times faster than 4G.

Canada’s median 5G download speed is 169.46 megabits per second. That’s 205 times faster than 4G.

Latency and bandwidth size are two other significant differences between 4G and 5G.

The latency of 5G is drastically reduced, allowing for faster download and upload speeds. When comparing the two, 4G has an average latency of around 50 milliseconds, while 5G is expected to have an average latency of around 10. It’s also possible that 5G latency will be as low as one millisecond.

5G also supports more technologies and devices due to its wider frequency range (between 30 GHz and 300 GHz). 5G is a must-have for large-scale IoT deployments in smart cities and other industries.


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