The fifth generation of cellular mobile communications is known as 5G. It offers evolutionary as well as revolutionary services. 5G succeeds the 4G, 3G and 2G system. 5G promises to deliver better and improved end user experience by offering applications and services through high data rate, seamless coverage, improved performance, reliable communication and so on. 5G is built to increase the scope and variety of use cases that the LTE is currently unable to address. 5G was earlier planned to be commercially deployed in 2020 but can be launched in 2019 itself.
In India, a 5G High Level Forum (HLF) was set up by the Government in 2017 to effectively envision 5G in India and to take policy initiatives and act upon it. Many mobile companies have such as Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson and ZTE have equipment in trails based on 5G standard.
5G can be better described in 3 phases:
Phase 1- Fixed Wireless Access services in the millimeter-band with 0.5 to 1 Gbps links by 2019 also mobile services in the < 3 GHz band by 2020. Many countries by 2021, across the world will have deployed 5G broadband services.
Phase 2- IoT technology based on 5G is expected to begin around 2021. Small IOT networks built around earlier technologies like NB-IoT, LoRA and Cat M might have been deployed, the entry of 5G IoT will boost up these trends.
Phase 3- Low latency and highly reliable wireless services are expected to debut in 2022 and offer new applications like car platooning (a fleet of close coordinating self-driving vehicles), drone navigation, remote machinery control and tele-surgery.
Challenges with deploying 5G- For any new technology to be of practical use, it must not be very expensive. The mass adoption of 5G can face some early roadblocks regarding this. For starters, the initial subscription data and basic plans are likely to be more expensive than the ones which are currently available. The annual investments required for upgrading to 5G can be very high – raising questions over the justifications of switching over from 4G to 5G.
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