Sarat Chandra IAS Academy

UPSC Civils Daily Mains Question 26th April 2020

India’s National Digital Communications Policy 2018 highlights the importance of 5G networks. In this light, discuss the advantages of 5G? What are the concerns in India to implement a 5G network? Suggest measures to tackle the challenges in the implementation of 5G.

Answer:

As the present world has entered the era of modern technological advancements in the Telecom Sector, a National Digital Communications Policy – 2018 has been formulated to cater to the modern needs of the digital communications sector of India such as 5G, lot, M2M etc. The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 entails implementing an action plan for rollout of 5G applications and services, enhancing the back-haul capacity to support the development of next-generation networks like 5G. 5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace, or at least augment 4G LTE connection.

Advantages of 5G network:

  • 5G will deliver multi-Gbps peak rates, ultra-low latency, massive capacity, and a more uniform user experience
  • 5G will help in creating cyber-physical networks which not only interconnect people, but also interconnect and control machines, objects, and devices.
  • It will deliver new levels of performance and efficiency that will empower new user experiences and connect new industries.
  • Latency, or the time it takes devices to communicate with wireless networks, will also drastically decrease.
  • 5G is also designed to deliver signals more reliably than earlier cellular networks.
  • Due to high-speed, high-reliability, low-latency network, 5G networks will act as an enabler for the Industrial revolution 4.0.
  • As IoT collects huge amounts of data from millions of devices and sensors, 5G technology helps it in data collection, processing, transmission, control and real-time analytics efficiently.
  • 5G will power the healthcare industry with smart medical devices, Internet of medical things, smart analytics, and high definition medical imaging technologies.
  • 5G will enable vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, making driverless cars, among other things, a reality, thereby making transport infrastructure more efficient.
  • 5G will extend the use of wireless technologies from industrial to commercial, educational, health care, agricultural, financial and social sectors.
  • The primary applications of 5G will be the implementation of a sensor-embedded network that will allow real-time relay of information across fields such as manufacturing, consumer durables and agriculture.
  • In the healthcare field, 5G capabilities will help with faster transfer of large patient files, remote surgery, and remote patient monitoring
  • Higher performance and improved efficiency empower new user experiences and connects new industries.

Concerns in India to implement 5G network:

  • Infrastructure:
    • 5G needs to be augmented to enable infrastructure as it can’t carry data over longer distances.
    • Simply upgrading the existing Long Term Evolution core will not be able to support the various requirements of all 5G use cases.
    • 5G due to its expansive applications forms the part of critical infrastructure making the networks failing or being deliberately sabotaged in a cyber attack significantly more serious.
  • Financial Hurdles:
    • The telecom industry in the country being debt-ridden may not afford the over prices of 5G.
    • 5G Smartphone models are likely to cost much more than the most advanced 4G devices currently available.
    • The major challenge is standardizing an approach and bringing all of the major technology partners on board.
  • Network investment: In India, the telecom sector is facing capital augmentation issues which need to be resolved.
  • Cyber Security: In the 5G world, cyber security challenges and risks will continue to grow as more data pours in and is processed faster than ever before.

Measures to tackle challenges in implementation of 5G network:

  • Need to adopt a Regulatory framework to keep pace with the new technological change.
  • Need to align Digital India with 5G technology.
  • Strengthen our cyber infrastructure.
  • Indian government and regulators should ensure the long-term sustainability of the industry and its ability to fund the significant investment required for 5G network deployments.
  • There is a need to set up universal standards and procedure for seamless integration of services and infrastructure under 5G
  • India needs to invest in research and development in technologies related to critical infrastructure and strive to indigenize them as soon as possible.
  • Favorable Taxation Policy has to come into force.

5G is expected to form the backbone of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine communications. The NDCP-2018 envisions supporting India’s transition to a digitally empowered economy and society by fulfilling the information and communications needs of citizens and enterprises by establishment of a ubiquitous, resilient and affordable digital communications infrastructure and services.

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