With the 5G spectrum auction finally getting the green light, we would like to refresh your memory around what exactly is a 5G network, what are its benefits, what users can expect, and some other frequently asked questions around the new network standard. Let’s take a look.
WHAT IS 5G?
Now, 5G, in the most simple terms, is the latest network standard that offers faster than ever internet speed (multi-Gbps peak speed), ultra low-latency, more reliability, a large network capacity, increased availability, and a more uniform user experience. 5G can be implemented in low-band, mid-band or high-band millimeter-wave 24 GHz up to 54 GHz. Now, low-band 5G uses a similar frequency range as 4G between 600Mhz to 900Mhz, mid-band 5G uses mmWaves between 1.7GHz to 4.7 GHz, and high-band 5G uses frequencies of 24–47 GHz. In India, a total of 72097.85 MHz of spectrum with a validity period of 20 years will be put to auction that will be held by the end of July. The auction will be held for spectrum in various low, mid, and high (26 GHz) frequency bands.
WHICH 5G BAND WILL BE USED IN INDIA?
It is expected that the Mid and High band spectrum will be utilised by Telecom Service Providers to roll-out of 5G technology-based services capable of providing speed and capacities, which would be about 10 times higher than what is possible through the current 4G services.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 4G AND 5G?
As compared to 4G, 5G is a more capable interface. While 4G offers speeds of up to 150mbps, 5G is capable of putting out up to 10Gbps download speeds, which is multi-fold more than what 4G is capable of. You will be able to download full-length HD movies within seconds with 5G. In terms of upload speeds, 5G networks can provide up to 1Gbps upload speeds, as compared to the 50Mbps upload speeds on 4G networks. Apart from this, 5G can connect to several more devices than 4G, and while 4G was a great leap forward, allowing people to stream music and videos on the go, 5G is designed to connect many more types of devices than smartphones.
WILL 5G BE MORE EXPENSIVE THAN 4G IN INDIA?
Now, while there is little to no information about how the pricing of 5G plans will be in India, it is expected to be slightly higher than what we are paying for 4G in the country. India has one of the cheapest internet in the world, and that is not expected to change with 5G rollout. Back in March 2022, Airtel’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Randeep Sekhon had said that 5G plans in India are expected to be priced similar to the 4G plans we are paying for currently.
WHEN CAN WE EXPECT 5G ROLLOUT?
With the 5G spectrum auctions taking place next month, it is expected that 5G services will be rolled out later this year itself, or by early 2023 at the latest. Earlier this year, the Airtel CTO had said that the telecom operator will launch its 5G services within 2-4 months after the auctions are concluded.
WILL 5G REQUIRE NEW MOBILE TOWERS?
5G will run on the same radio frequencies that are currently being used for your mobile data, on Wi-Fi, and in satellite communications. Telecom providers won’t have to change their towers to deploy the services, because it runs on the same frequencies.
WHAT ELSE IS 5G CAPABLE OF?
5G will do much more than significantly improve your network connection. It will bring the possibility of having billions of devices gathering and sharing information in real-time to tackle some of the most pressing issues of the world. 5G will also open up many possibilities in the artificial intelligence and machine learning space, as scientists will be able to program more and more data into their systems, resulting in quicker results and quicker solutions. 5G will basically speed up the development of many things.