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Prime Minister Narendra Modi will on Saturday launch the 5G telephony services, ushering in an era of ultra high-speed internet on mobile phones.
According to an official release, 5G will be launched by the Prime Minister in select cities on Saturday and it will progressively cover the entire country over the next couple of years.
The cumulative economic impact of 5G on India is estimated to reach $450 billion (nearly Rs. 36,61,200 crore) by 2035.
Capable of supporting ultra-high-speed internet, the fifth generation or 5G service is expected to unleash new economic opportunities and societal benefits, serving as a transformational force for Indian society.
The three major telecom operators of the country will demonstrate one use case each in front of the Prime Minister to show the potential of 5G technology in India.
Billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio will connect a teacher from a school in Mumbai with students in three different locations in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Odisha.
This, according to official sources, will demonstrate how 5G will facilitate education by bringing teachers closer to students, obliviating the physical distance between them. It will demonstrate the power of Augmented Reality (AR) on screen and how that is being used to teach children across the country, remotely, without the need of an AR device.
In the Airtel demo, a girl from Uttar Pradesh will witness a lively and immersive education experience to learn about the solar system with the help of virtual reality and augmented reality. The girl will share her experience of learning with the Prime Minister by appearing on the dias through a hologram.
The Vodafone Idea test case will demonstrate the safety of workers in an under-construction tunnel of Delhi Metro through the creation of a ‘digital twin’ of the tunnel on the dias. The digital twin will help give safety alerts to workers in real-time from a remote location.
Modi will take a live demo from the dias to monitor the work in real-time through utilising VR and artificial intelligence.
“Prime Minister, Narendra Modi will launch 5G services in India on October 1, 2022, and also inaugurate the 6th Edition of India Mobile Congress 2022 to be held from October 1-4, 2022, at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi,” the release added.
The various use cases that will be demonstrated in front of the Prime Minister in the exhibition include precision drone-based farming, high-security routers and AI-based cyber threat detection platforms, automated guided vehicles, smart ambulances, augmented reality/virtual reality /mix reality in education and skill development, sewage monitoring system, smart-agri programme and health diagnostics, among others.
5G offers speed multiple times faster than 4G, supports lag-free connectivity, and can enable billions of connected devices to share data in real-time.
It will help in providing seamless coverage, high data rate, low latency, and highly reliable communications. Also, it will increase energy efficiency, spectrum efficiency and network efficiency.
5G technology will help in connecting billions of Internet of Things devices, allow higher quality video services with mobility at high speed, delivery of critical services such as telesurgery and autonomous cars, among others.
It will help in real-time monitoring of disasters, precision agriculture, minimising the role of humans in dangerous industrial operations such as in deep mines, offshore activities etc. Unlike existing mobile communication networks, 5G networks will allow tailoring of requirements for each of these different use cases within the same network.
Besides powering ultra-low latency connections, which allow downloading full-length high-quality video or movie to a mobile device in a matter of seconds (even in crowded areas), 5G can enable solutions such as e-health, connected vehicles, more-immersive augmented reality and metaverse experiences, life-saving use cases, and advanced mobile cloud gaming, among others.
“5G can unleash new economic opportunities and societal benefits giving it the potential for being a transformational force for Indian society. It will help the country leapfrog the traditional barriers to development, spur innovations by startups and business enterprises as well as advance the ‘Digital India’ vision,” the official release said.
The launch of 5G services in India, the world’s second-biggest smartphone market after China, follows years of intense preparation.
India’s biggest ever auction of telecom spectrum held recently had received a record Rs. 1.5 lakh crore of bids, with Mukesh Ambani’s Jio cornering nearly half of all the airwaves sold with a Rs. 88,078-crore bid.
Telecom tycoon Sunil Bharti Mittal’s Bharti Airtel made a successful bid of Rs. 43,084 crore, while Vodafone Idea bought spectrum for Rs. 18,799 crore.
Gautam Adani’s group, whose entry in the auction was billed by some as another flashpoint in the rivalry with Ambani, paid Rs. 212 crore for 400 MHz. Adani group bought spectrum in the 26 GHz band, which is suitable for setting up a private network for end-to-end communication.
The auction aggregated the demand for a robust 5G ecosystem that can cater to its use cases involving IoT (Internet of Things), M2M (Machine-to-Machine communication), AI (Artificial Intelligence), Edge Computing, and robotics.
The Telecom Department has amended Right of Way (RoW) Rules in August 2022, wherein the charges for permissions to lay cables and set up towers have been made reasonable and a ceiling has been fixed for rates for installation of 5G small cells and optical fibre cable on street furniture.
The Department of Telecom has set up a 5G testbed with the help of IITs, IISc Bengaluru and SAMEER to develop technology in 2018.
A 5G hackathon was commenced in 2020 to trigger ideation and prototyping of use-cases by startups and has led to spurring innovative products, the official release said.
An inter-ministerial committee on 5G use cases has been functioning since 2021, in coordination with 12 central ministries, enabling the setting up of 5G use-case labs. Consultations with industry have been held enabling the 5G ecosystem to make handsets available.
C-DOT is also developing a 5G Radio Access Network (RAN) in collaboration with local industry and startups. It has already tested 4G Core in collaboration with TCS and Tejas Networks successfully.
“All these will help in answering the Prime Minister’s clarion call on ‘Jai Anusandhan’. All these efforts are game-changers for India’s manufacturing and Telecom ecosystem leading to domestic 5G enterprise carrier grade stacks as well as innovative impactful 5G use-cases,” the release said.