There has been a lot of buzz in the market lately, with Mukesh Ambani announcing that JIO is 5G ready and the uptrends that have been going on in the same. So what is that additional G, how is it different from the previous ones. And how exactly is it going to fuel businesses and other industries?
How far we have come?
Before digging into what 5G has to offer, let us take a quick look into what has already been achieved. The 1st generation or 1G made voice calls possible. 2G added texts, and 3G made web browsing and basic mobile computing possible. But 4G finally brought the world of applications into our lives with enormous data speed.
What if I told you that the next generation would give you a speed 100 times faster than its predecessor. You read it right, 5G will provide us with faster speeds, greater automacy, and open the doors to many such possibilities. You’ll be able to download HD quality movies in seconds, easier to conglomerate Artificial Intelligence, and so much more. Fun fact- JIO, a telecom company owned by the business giant, Mukesh Ambani entered the market with 4G and is ready with 5G solutions to be tested and deployed in India, as he exclaimed in his AGM (Annual General Meeting) held on 15th July 2020, virtually. The company awaits the government’s approval.
Is 5G still a distant reality?
The good news is that 5G has already entered some parts of the world, and we are going there. AT&T Inc., KT Corp,and China Mobiles in South Korea, China, and USA are the lead developers in the industry. USA has successfully deployed 5G in more than two dozen cities. Some other smaller countries like Turkey, Sweden, Estonia have also taken significant steps to make 5G commercially viable to their citizens. Not to mention JIO which is already waiting to emerge in Indian markets. As we keep on adding more devices and innovating more applications and tools to assist us, faster speed and efficiency becomes a priority. 5G is the answer to our prayers, indeed. So rest assured 5G is not a distant reality, if anything it is the current reality. With 5G networks being switched on, the first use cases are enhanced mobile broadband, which will bring better experiences for smartphone users, and fixed wireless access, providing fiber speeds without fiber to homes.
What opportunities is 5G gonna create?
We all are well aware that the world has become a slave of the internet. Every industry, be it small or large, highly depends on the internet for various operations. To maintain records, to price goods, ease trade, assist the transfer of assets, fuel the new era of AI, and even watch a video or a web series at the end of a tiring day. So the answer to this should be simple. Every industry will be potentially transformed with the entry of 5G and especially the telecom sector.
5G can significantly level up the game for WAN (Wide Area Network) and LAN (Local Area Network). For organizations having a wide office area, for campuses of new institutions, government offices, public facilities, and other infrastructures can easily benefit from this, escaping the need for extensive wiring. Now, of course, the networks will vary depending on whether they are private or public, and the area they exhibit to cover. 5G will transform various sectors with higher efficiency, faster speed, and improved latency.
5G will also segue away for augmented reality and bots. AR could become relatively common and easy to use by various industries that could benefit hugely if this becomes an easy possibility. Not clear how? Here are a few examples. When you go shopping, ever felt lazy to try all the outfits and decide what actually to buy! AR customers will be able to examine themselves in the respective outfits, without having to go to the trial room, on a screen. This might increase customer satisfaction and enhance the customer turnover of the clothing industry.
Another such example is gyms that can give customized and optimized diet plans to their members. If you are a sports fan, AR will allow you to adjust your TV/Desktop/Mobile screens to the angles that suit you the most. Isn’t that amazing? Now, these are only some revolutions 5G can bring in AR.
5G will lead to increased automation in robotics, as it will ease the way for Iot, ML, and AI. As a result, it will smoothen the production and deployment of wireless lines of machines. This can be hugely beneficial in sectors like agriculture and manufacturing. There can be easy and more centric control over bots, and they can communicate the status of the process and consequently can be instructed to adjust the modifications. Or can be used to deliver/trail the raw materials and finished goods.
The government can also benefit and can trace mischievous activities, with the help of AR/VR in their security systems. Also, to maintain, arrange, and find records that otherwise consume large amounts of their time, hence overcoming government bodies' bureaucratic nature. Combined with mobile app sensors, they can track the locations of criminal activities, manage traffic and safety.
It can also help hospitals to virtually visit their patients at their homes and diagnose diseases with augmented reality and virtual reality. 5G can assist temperature, weather conditions, calamity warning, mapping, population check, and limitless things. Now, this is with the idea that 5G will build a strong foundation for upcoming advancements in Blockchain Network, and further segments after that. This was possible with the existing 4G networks, but 5G will introduce more significant opportunities. Global investment in the 5G industrial chain over 2020-2035 is likely to reach US$ 3.5 trillion. More than US$12 trillion sales are expected to be generated by global industry applications driven by 5G technology.
Where does India stand?
So the question is, is India 5G ready? According to recent claims, already mentioned above, Reliance is all set to deploy the 5G network in India. Now, of course, it comes with the additional cost of producing and consuming 5G compatible smartphones. India stood 49th among 63 countries in the Institute of Management Development (IMD) in 2019. But things are actively taking a turn, India is set to leave a digital footprint. Mukesh Ambani exclaimed that once the 5G facilities are actively deployed in India, it can extend its market overseas. Airtel and Vodafone, the competitors in the Indian market, have a setback of providing services of 2G and 3G to that customer group; this added to JIO’s advantage as it’ll be easier to provide 4G infrastructure, a touch of 5G. JIO can give competition to Ericsson and Chinese firms like ZTE and Huwaei, who already have enabled 5G, 4G, and other technologies.
Google has announced an investment of Rs. 75,000 crores in Indian digitization over 7 years. This has been a breakthrough in Indian technology, making India the 4th most significant emerging economy. Many countries, apart from Google, like Facebook, are investing in India, given the large consumer base and a developing market. India aims to enhance digital communications’ contribution to 8 percent in the GDP and project India to be amongst the Top 50 nations in the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) development index of ITU (International Telecommunication Union). This is a supplement of the ‘Make in India’ movement, and the government should hence take appropriate measures to inculcate a suitable environment for motivating and pushing people in the direction of this technology in a holistic way.
It is not a cakewalk
With gain comes risk! 5G is filled with astonishing plausibilities, but there is a setback and a risk involved. We already know the amount of information collected by our apps and browsers, our location, our behaviour, etc. If we are increasing the bar, then imagine the exposure of our knowledge with 5G. This naturally makes our data more vulnerable if the security fails to prevent it from cyber threats. With government records at the disposal of such hackers, not only individuals/organizations but also entire economies under serious risks. A minor crack will cause the whole building to collapse.
So even if there is an atomic chance of the system failing, they’ll fail epically. Think about the millions of devices connected by IoT. What happens when a minor error dismantles the entire process, in production, in hospitals, could lead to major accidents and even fatalities.
It is not all a walk in the garden. It’ll take time to ensure that our privacy is protected and a proper plan and backup for when things go wrong to avoid any major catastrophes. 5G will or is expected to throttle by 2035. When it does, it’ll change our lives, but let’s hope it doesn’t come with the cost of our lives.
We understood the yin-yang of 5G. The success of the network highly depends on the response it gets from the users, which most certainly will be accepting. No questions on how it can bring a new era in all kinds of industries, essentially that’s what it means, the next generation. It should be deployed after proper testing and examination. The authenticity of the customers and the data should always remain a priority.
But we all can agree that 5G shows some promising outcomes in all human activities.
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