5G: A Next Generation Wireless Technology

Digital Transformation through 5G will fundamentally impact other national Mission Mode projects
Image for representational purpose only.
Image for representational purpose only.Image source: Flickr

The 5G technology 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. The landscape is expanding to include massive scale of “smart things” to be interconnected. Therefore, the manner in which future networks will cope with massively varied demands and a business landscape will be significantly different.               

The economic benefits from the 5G technology are also quite immense. 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 Increasing GDP, creating employment, digitizing the economy.

For India, 5G provides an opportunity for industry to reach out to global markets, and consumers to gain with the economies of scale. Worldwide countries have launched similar Forums and thus, India has joined the race in 5G technologies.

5G is the next technological frontier. Digital Transformation through 5G will fundamentally impact other national Mission Mode projects. 5G will provide a new dimension to the Digital India, Smart Cities & Smart Village missions. 5G has potentially large contributions to Make in India and Start-Up India missions.

The objective is to position India as a globally synchronised participant in the design, development and manufacturing of 5G based technology, products and applications.

The development of 5G technology has prompted much anticipation among the tech community and the masses. 5G has been dubbed as the next revolution in cellular technology, which will bring the people of this world even closer.

The technology marks an evolutionary jump in terms of connectivity speeds, utility and business use cases of 5G. In 2021, the global services market value of 5G technology was estimated to be USD 83.24 billion. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 23% to reach USD 188 billion by the year 2025.               

5G is the fifth generation of cellular networks. It is the latest in a line of mobile technologies that started with the introduction of 1G in the 1980s. In theory, 5G technology aims to connect devices, machines and people who use them through high-speed and low-latency data connections. Business trends of 5G technology predict a boom of the internet of things (IoT) in a big way by creating an ecosystem of connected devices and machines.

This decade marks the arrival of a new technology, 5G – the latest in a line of cellular network technologies. Each generation shift has ushered in a significant change in the nature of service, technology, transfer speeds and usage. With the evolution to 5G, this trend continues by providing much more reliable and faster connectivity, offering customers and businesses a superior user experience.

The impact of 4G vs 5G will be felt in all industries that use the internet, especially in healthcare, agriculture and logistics, which were underserved due to the low speeds of the previous generations of cellular connections and expand the range of use cases of 5G.

While 4G networks provide a maximum speed of 100–200 Mbps, speed of 5G peaks around 10 Gbps – a hundred-fold increase in speed. 5G accomplishes this task by utilising a wide array of the spectrum from lower bands (frequency <1 GHz) to higher bands called millimetre wave (mmWave; frequency >24 GHz). The capacity of these mmWave frequencies is many times higher than that of existing technology, hence improving the efficiency of 5G.

5G tech has also seen communication of very minimal latency (<1 millisecond). This would mean that there would be no significant delay times associated with the network, making it much more reliable and enabling seamless real-time access to technology.

5G is ushering in development and revenue in industries across the world. A recent analysis shows that by 2035, 5G technology will transform industries worldwide, with the market value of 5G generating output worth USD 13.2 trillion globally and creating job opportunities for more than 22 million people.

5G is also impacting areas like IoT, virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) due to its improved connectivity, speeds, reliability and low latency. It is opening new avenues and experiences such as instant access to cloud services, real-time collaboration, medical consultation and low-latency cloud gaming, as some of the use cases of 5G.

Enterprises and industries go through a myriad of aspects in order to explore and utilise the full potential of the 5G ecosystem. Tectonic shifts in the business strategy and operations calls for a 5G framework that can enable enterprises understand their digital maturity. Thus, use cases, roll-out strategy and digital adoption of 5G needs to be carefully assessed and gauged to derive its true value.

Any vertical or industrial entity, in order to be fully 5G compliant or even have the basics ready, must weigh its potential and limitations on a standardised scale. Conceptual aspects such as cloud native, automation, edge computing and artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) need to be evaluated from the strategic, architectural and governance aspects. Therefore, a holistic viewpoint regarding 5G adoption will help enterprises know where they stand in the 5G ecosystem.

(The author is a regular columnist.)

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.

The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.

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