5G technology and challenges


5G technology and challenges


In easy words, the fifth generation of wireless networks – referred to as 5G is predicted to be nearly 100 times faster than 4G.

With such speed, it is possible to download a full-length HD movie in just 10 seconds

which takes seven or eight minutes on 4G, this is possible because of greater bandwidth, 5G maximum speed is expected to be  10 gigabits per second (Gbit/s)5G also offers much faster upload speeds

The second advantage of 5G is more reliability,ultra-low latency, massive network capacity, increased availability, and more friendly user experience. which means it has an advantage in the case of autonomous vehicles and IoT devices

Like its predecessors, 5G networks are cellular networks, during which the service zones are split into small geographical areas called cells.

All 5G wireless devices in a cell are connected to the web and telephone network by radio waves through an area antenna within the cell.

5G will initially operate in conjunction with existing 4G networks before evolving to completely standalone networks in subsequent releases and coverage expansions

Latency is the time taken for devices to respond to every other device over the wireless network. 3G networks had a typical reaction time of 100 milliseconds, 4G is around 30 milliseconds and 5G are going to be as low as 1 millisecond. This is often virtually instantaneous, opening up a brand new world of connected applications.

The principle behind 5g technology

Millimeter waves also referred to as extremely high frequency (EHF), is a band of radio frequencies that’s compatible with 5G networks. Extremely high frequency is the International Telecommunication Union designation for the band of radio frequencies within the spectrum from 30 to 300 gigahertz. It lies between the super high-frequency band, and therefore the far-infrared band, the lower a part of which is that the terahertz band
Multiple-Input Multiple-Output abbreviated as MIMO is a wireless technology that increases the data capacity of an RF radio by using multiple transmitting and receiving antennas, Because of this each signal reaches the receiving antenna through a special path, leading to more reliable data

A mobile network has two main components, the Radio Access Network’ and the other one is the ‘Core Network’.

The Radio Access Network – consists of varied sorts of facilities including small cells, towers, masts, and dedicated in-building and residential systems that connect mobile users and wireless devices to the most core network.

Small cells are going to be a serious feature of 5G networks particularly at the new millimeter wave (mmWave) frequencies where the connection range is extremely short. to supply endless connection, small cells are going to be distributed in clusters counting on where users require a connection that can complement the macro network that gives wide-area coverage.


5G Macro Cells will use MIMO (multiple inputs, multiple outputs) antennas that have multiple elements or connections to send and receive more data simultaneously.

The benefit to users is that more people can simultaneously hook up with the network and maintain high throughput. Where MIMO antennas use very large numbers of antenna elements they’re often mentioned as ‘massive MIMO’

however, the physical size is analogous to existing 3G and 4G base station antennas.

The Core Network – is that the mobile exchange and data network that manages all of the mobile voice, data, and internet connections.

For 5G technology, the ‘core network’ is being redesigned to integrate with the web and cloud-based services and also includes distributed servers across the network improving response times (reducing latency).

Many of the advanced features of 5G including network function virtualization and network slicing for various applications and services are going to be managed within the core

Network Slicing – enables a wise way to segment the network for a specific industry, business, or application. for instance, emergency services could operate a network slice independently from other users.
Network Function Virtualization (NVF) – is the ability to instantiate network functions in real-time at any desired location within the operator’s cloud platform. Network functions that were accustomed to run on dedicated hardware for instance a firewall and encryption at business premises can now operate the software on a virtual machine. NVF is crucial to enable speed efficiency and agility to support new business applications and is a crucial technology for a 5G ready core.

Applications of 5G technology

The 5g applications can be broadly divided into three categories internet of Things (IoT) – That involves connecting billions of devices without human intervention at a very large scale. It has the potential to revolutionize modern industrial processes and applications including agriculture, manufacturing, R&D and business communications, etc.

Ultra-efficient and low latency communications – this includes real-time control of devices, industrial robotics, vehicle to vehicle communications and safety systems, autonomous driving, and safer transport networks.

Low latency communications also expose a brand new world where remote medical aid, procedures, and treatment are all possible

 Intensified mobile broadband – providing significantly faster data speeds and greater capacity keeping the planet connected. New applications will include fixed wireless internet access for homes, outdoor broadcast applications without the necessity for broadcast vans, and greater connectivity for people on the move. 

It will enable the connection of billions of devices for our smart cities, smart schools, and smart homes, smart and safer vehicles, enhance health care and education

For businesses and industry, 5G technology and IoT will provide a wealth of information, Businesses will operate and make key decisions driven by data, innovate in agriculture, smart farms and manufacturing, paving the way for cost savings, better customer experience, and future growth.

New and Emerging technology like virtual and augmented reality is going to be accessible by everyone.

The users can watch a live football match with the sensation of being at the stadium, and gamers can experience a completely new world of augmented reality,5G will keep the generation connected to the future.



From the mid-1990s, India has been lagging behind the world in the technology marathon but now we are at a replacement point where we can pace up and can get before them

Technology is critical to India’s digital dream. The constantly evolving need for higher speed, alongside plans for smart cities, industrial automation, connected devices, etc, make 5G inevitable.

So, it becomes critical for both operators and the Government to develop and adapt it in a very rapid and efficient manner.

Infrastructure challenges

Cells needed – 5G technology is predicted to use much higher frequencies and that they have the power to hold tremendous amounts of data.

The 5g technology uses cells that can be limited to a diameter of 750 feet or less which is one-tenth to one-fifteenth of the space covered by 4G LTE. As per a study by Wireless broadband association, there’ll be a requirement of approx 24-30 BTS/Small cells per square km.

India’s capital alone needs 36000 Cells while financial capital will need approx. 105000 Cells for 5G coverage.

fiber optic cable– for 5G to satisfy its potential and hence to deliver a minimum of 1 Gbps peak speed to every user, the minimum downlink speed to every small cell will have to be compelled to be 20 Gbps, and therefore the uplink peak rate will be 10 Gbps. Connecting these small cells to fiber would require about eight km of fiber per square km.

In India on an average, there are only 20% cells which are having OFC backhaul compared to a global average of 60-70%

In 2018, a special program was launched to enable fiberization of a minimum of 60% base stations thereby accelerating to 4G/5G however for a successful rollout of 5G, 100% cells got to be fiberized.

Economical challenges 

One of the prime reasons for the delay is the financial health of the telecom service providers, they’re struggling to pay licensing fees and other penalties to the govt,

they are demanding billions from the operators, subject to licensing fees under so-called AGR (annual gross revenue) rules.

The apex court recently sided with the GoI during this dispute, meaning operators need to collectively pay 920 billion Indian rupees ($12.5 billion) in fees, penalties, and interest payments.

The government could collectively earn an amount as $70.9 billion from the 5G spectrum auction if they sell on the present base prices

After paying off AGR dues, telecom companies would not be in a position to shop for spectrum at these base prices.

Moreover, the 4G spectrum licenses held by Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are set to expire in a few service areas in 2021

If the govt plans resolutely to auction the spectrum at these base prices without giving compensation or completely waving of their AGR  dues then only reliance jio is in a position to buy the spectrum,

and this will clearly create a monopoly in the Indian market, which will haunt the Indian customer in the long haul.

The DoT is probably going to further push the spectrum auctions to October-December quarter of the present financial year because of the Covid-19 even if 5G network connectivity comes in, affordable 5G phones are yet to form into the market.

 Political challenges

In a major positive move by the GoI, the Chinese vendors — led by Huawei — are now out of the 5G equipment business within the country, where bids have currently been postponed.

The government has directed telecom firms like BSNL , MTNL , and their subsidiaries to avoid using Chinese equipment. The Department of Telecom has directed all the entities that come under that to use “Made in India” manufactured goods as a part of the government’s push for “Atma Nirbhar Bharat”.

The Telecom Department is additionally considering measures to urge private telecom operators to bring down their dependence on Chinese-made telecommunication equipment.

Huawei has for long been suspected to be an enterprise of the  People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and has not been able to shake off the fear of it being an arm of the Chinese army. For foreign players, including Chinese entities, the Indian telecom sector is seen to be very lucrative given the massive base, which can be matched only across the border.

Defense ministry demands for a few of the 5G spectrum have further complicated matters, as has the continuing political debate around the participation of Chinese companies in the rollout.


As per the present regulatory framework, each TELCO has got to seek ROW from the State Govt./ Central Govt authorities and the reinstatement costs can go up to 60 Lacs to at least one crore/KM not only for construction but also for operations and maintenance.

The government should also check out a number of the planet-wide examples especially policies in the US like OTMR (One-touch make ready) and “Dig Once” policies where OFC and Telecom poles are being enabled alongside city utilities.

at the same time, India has to look for domestic or other viable options for purchasing of telecom equipment, instead of buying it from Chinese companies 

Any delays in solving the infrastructure issues will result in only fragmentary implementations of 5G and hence India will lag behind the globe in capturing the 4th industrial revolution 

Focus on breaking the news and solving real world problems, well-versed in negotiations, planning and development, and team coordination. Believes that learning should never be stopped, he takes great interest in issues related to India and world

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