From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : IOT, 5G technology
Mains level : Paper 3- Chinese 5G technology and threats associated with it
The article examines the threat posed by the Chinese 5G technology to the world and India.
Implications of Chinese 5G technology for Nepal
- The launch of 5G in Nepal would mean that Nepal’s business interests could pass into Chinese control.
- Real-time information on weather, routes, map, etc could be based on Chinese 5G, thus making locals or visitors to Nepal dependent on it.
- A related development of infrastructure along the borders, where most mountaineering sites are, could make Nepal’s borders vulnerable and damage its tourism industry.
- With lower incomes, the tourism industry might get lured into Chinese cheap loans, leading to a strategic debt trap.
- Such development would have several ramifications for India.
Implications of Chinese 5G technology for the world
- 2020 has been no ordinary year —Militaries have been pushed to the borders, treaties, and agreements are being signed, and a record number of military deals have happened.
- This year has witnessed the most unprecedented intensification of global military conflicts since the Gulf War.
- AI applications have been at display in warfare, with drone killing machines being advertised.
- There is no option left but to get the 5G technology now.
- Huge Chinese investments across the world to spread a 5G network will encompass the planet — a “digital encirclement of the world”.
- Combined with the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative), this encirclement would be complete.
- Intrinsic to the BRI is the fact that Chinese companies will build digital infrastructure.
- Militaries who allow Chinese 5G, could then become hostage to Chinese technology, as seen during the pandemic.
Indian 5G technology: Advantages and challenges ahead
- India is likely to survive the Chinese 5G invasion if it accelerates the launch of the Indian 5G.
- India is working on technologies that would enable it to launch Indigenous 5G that would run IoT platforms for civilians as well as military applications.
- The banning of Chinese apps and blocking of hardware supply chains would be the correct counteroffensive to protect the business and security interests of the country.
- The problem is India being poor in “implementation”.
- Where India starts losing out is in slow adoption, getting entangled in policy processes and the crosshairs of the bureaucracy.
Consider the question “What are the concerns with the adoption of Chinese 5G technology? How indigenous 5G technology help India and what are the challenges in developing it?”
India must get its timing right. The implementation of 5G, though a bit delayed, can make India a good alternative to China. But agreements like RCEP and China’s other debt strategies will remain a larger threat to the world.