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5G Spectrum Auction Concludes

Context:

India’s biggest ever spectrum auction ended with bids upwards of Rs 1.5 lakh crore coming in after seven days of bidding spread over 40 rounds.

  • Reliance Jio emerged as the largest spender in the 5G spectrum auction, acquiring almost half of all the airwaves sold for more than Rs 88,000 crore, and was also the only one (among four applicants) to have acquired spectrum in the premium 700 MHz band.

Relevance:

GS III- Science and Technology

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. About 5G
  2. Application of 5G
  3. What are the key issues?
  4. What benefits are likely to come with 5G?

About 5G

  • 5G is the next generation of mobile broadband that will eventually replace, or at least augment 4G LTE connection and it  offers exponentially faster download and upload speeds.
  • 5G will deliver multi-Gbps peak rates, ultra-low latency, massive capacity, and a more uniform user experience.
  • This is in contrast to 4G link speeds in averaging 6-7 Megabit per second (Mbps) in India as compared to 25 Mbps in advanced countries.

Application of 5G

  • 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.
  • It will act as an enabler for the Industrial Revolution 4.0 and is expected to form the backbone of emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and machine to machine communications.
  • 5G can also help make transport infrastructure more efficient by making it smart. It will enable vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, making driverless cars, among other things, a reality.
  • Also, 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.

What benefits are likely to come with 5G?

  • 5G is the next generation cellular technology that will provide faster and more reliable communication with ultra low latency.
  • As per the set standards, with 5G, the peak network speeds are expected to be in the range of 2-20 Gbps as opposed to about 25 Mbps on current 4G networks.
    • In India, however, 4G speeds average at around 6-7 Mbps, but are picking up gradually.
  • It is expected that with 5G technology, consumers will be able to download data heavy content such as 8K movies and games with better graphics in just a few seconds.
  • The users will need to update to 5G-enabled devices to access the network, if they are not already using one.
  • However, it is likely that the primary use of the technology will go beyond delivery of services on personal mobile devices.
    • 5G is expected to form the backbone of emerging technologies such as IoT and machine to machine communications, thereby supporting a much larger range of applications and services, such as tele-surgery and real time data analytics.
  • Ultra low latency offered by 5G makes the technology desirable for such use cases.
    • Latency is the amount of time data takes to travel between its source and destination.
  • As per a report by a government panel on 5G, even after the entry of 5G into the Indian networks, the earlier generation mobile technologies — 2G, 3G and 4G, will continue to remain in use and may take 10 or more years to phase out.
  • 5G is expected to create a cumulative economic impact of $1 trillion in India by 2035, the report added.

-Source: Indian Express


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