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Is India 5G-Ready?

Leading India towards ultra-high-speed internet and digital services, Indian telecom companies have recently rolled out 5G. Through this launch, the telecom sector offers faster transfers and fewer latency rates. The launch of 5G took place recently in India’s capital – New Delhi. Addressing 5G as “Digital Kamdhenu”, telecom leaders describe it as one of the important growth accelerators of achieving the 5 trillion dollar target of the Indian economy.

Extending its hand towards the digital revolution, the Indian government has heavily invested in the 5G infrastructure. The telecom infrastructure, however, has a long way to go. Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio are amongst the first 5G service providers in India. The cities covered in the first phase are metros including Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Gandhinagar, Gurugram, Hyderabad, Jamnagar, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Pune.

As per studies, the time taken to deploy each generation network in terms of quality and geography has been up to 10 years. The entry of 5G will not impact the existing networks. However, there is a list of issues that need to be addressed simultaneously. Deploying 5G will need huge infrastructure capital investments.

Meanwhile, device compatibility is one of the bigger challenges in establishing an ultra-high-speed network. A handful of mobile brands like iPhone, Samsung, Oppo, OnePlus, Realme, and Xiaomi etc claim to have 5G compatible models in their latest releases. However, the quality cannot be guaranteed unless tested. The question of upgrading the other handsets and the interest among people to spend extra bucks for mobile or network switches still lies unanswered.

Higher internet speed is a hand-in-glove initiative of the government and telecom to create a social impact. Along with the increasing GDP, the telecom industry also aims to bring about dramatic developments like precision drone-based farming, high-security routers, AI-based cyber threat detection platforms, automated guided vehicles, Ambupod - smart ambulance, augmented reality/virtual reality /mixed reality in education and skill development, sewage monitoring system, smart-Agri program, health diagnostics and so on. What will also be a challenge post-5G deployment, is the ransomware attacks which are likely to lead to privacy and information breach for governments and citizens.

Above all, lies the interest and call to action by the users. Will the users feel the need and take initiative to switch their networks and phones? Will investing in 5G be worth it? And, more importantly, does India have the right infrastructure to be 5G-ready?

(Author: Alisha Fernandes is an inquisitive learner & content writer at TechDoQuest)

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