From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : 5G technology
Mains level : Useful data about 5G in India
India 5G subscriptions are set to reach 500 mn by 2027, said Ericsson in its report.
Ericsson Mobility Report
- The report has added that the total number of smartphone subscriptions is expected to be 810 million at the end of 2021.
- It is projected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 7%, exceeding 1.2 billion by 2027.
5G penetration in India
- 5G telecom services are likely to account for 39% of mobile subscriptions or about 500 million subscriptions in India at the end of 2027.
- 4G is expected to remain the dominant technology in India in 2027.
- 4G subscriptions are expected to reduce from 68% of mobile subscriptions in 2021 to 55% in 2027 as subscribers migrate to 5G.
- However, 4G subscriptions are forecast to drop from 790 million in 2021 to 710 million in 2027, showing an annual average decline of 2%.
Back2Basics: 5G Technology
- 5G or fifth generation is the latest upgrade in the long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband networks.
- It mainly works in 3 bands, namely low, mid and high-frequency spectrum — all of which have their own uses as well as limitations.
Three bands of 5G
- The low band spectrum has shown great promise in terms of coverage and speed of internet and data exchange, the maximum speed is limited to 100 Mbps (Megabits per second).
- This means that while telcos can use and install it for commercial cellphones users who may not have specific demands for very high-speed internet, the low band spectrum may not be optimal for specialised needs of the industry.
- The mid-band spectrum, on the other hand, offers higher speeds compared to the low band but has limitations in terms of coverage area and penetration of signals.
- Telcos and companies, which have taken the lead on 5G, have indicated that this band may be used by industries and specialized factory units for building captive networks that can be molded into the needs of that particular industry.
- The high-band spectrum offers the highest speed of all the three bands, but has extremely limited coverage and signal penetration strength.
- Internet speeds in the high-band spectrum of 5G have been tested to be as high as 20 Gbps (gigabits per second), while, in most cases, the maximum internet data speed in 4G has been recorded at 1 Gbps.