5G Shouldn't Be Rolled Out In A Hurry

The Hindu Business Line|February 25, 2020

5G Shouldn't Be Rolled Out In A Hurry
A balanced assessment of its potential applications and demand must be made. Also, creating the 5G ecosystem is challenging
Brijendra K Syngal

It is widely acknowledged that 5G is an evolution not a revolution. There is a myth surrounding that 5G is a progression of the other Gs of limitations on bandwidth. 5G would be the elder brother providing at least five to six times multiples of the 4G bandwidth, some 100 mb/s at the very minimum. Higher bandwidths create many applications that will have a multiplier effect on the economy. Are not these gb/s bandwidths available today by way of Fibre to the Homes (FTTH)? Has a study been carried out for the “on-the-move requirements” mobility?

The key component required to use such bandwidths would be devices. Are affordable devices available? Undoubtedly, higher bandwidths are needed, but questions that need answers are: when, how, and cost-effectiveness. Is the environment and eco-system ready? Before we talk of more investment in the Indian context, particularly at a time when the industry is bleeding, these questions and concerns must be addressed, shorn of the hype and euphoria.

Inexplicable haste

But 5G in India continues to be promoted with zeal, stoked by vested interests of the telecom equipment manufacturers citing the many wonderful applications that will be enabled — faster phones, easier access to on-demand video and simpler networking.

Our telecom mandarins continue to put elaborate plans in place to set a price and auction spectrum (airwaves) this year. This despite the fact that the current 4G networks power the latest iPhone and Android smartphones and they’re increasingly integrated into cars, or we use them for video downloads or stream our daily dose of Netflix on our mobiles.

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February 25, 2020