Even as the 4G technology has not yet covered all the states of India, the central government is now eyeing the next-generation mobile communication technology, 5G. The governments of India and Israel have agreed to work jointly on the development of the 5G network.

The matter was discussed during the visit of external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on June 26-27, 2015. Swaraj and her Israeli counterpart Gilad Erdan in a meeting, agreed that both the countries can cooperate on exploring the possibilities of standard formulation, development and manufacturing in the area of 4G and 5G telecom technologies. It however, refused to share details about the amount required to be spent for the development of the technology.

No country in the world has 5G technology, while some companies claim to have tested 5G technology, a TRAI report says. There have been some claims by companies, that 5G technology will be in place by 2020. The versions of technology 2G, 3G and 4G are labelled on the basis of internet speed they offer on mobile devices and tablets. Technology experts believe that 5G technology will enable people to have a fibre network, like user experience on a wireless connection.

5G or fifth generation mobile networks or fifth generation wireless systems denotes the next major phase of mobile telecommunications standards beyond the current 4G or fourth generation technology. The Next Generation Mobile Networks Alliance define 5G network requirements as:-

  • Data rates of several tens of MBps should be supported for tens of thousands of users.
  • About 1 GBps will be offered simultaneously to hundreds of workers, working on the same office floor.
  • Several hundreds of thousands of simultaneous connections, should be supported for massive sensor deployments.
  • Spectral efficiency should be significantly enhanced, as compared to 4G.
  • Coverage should be improved at a larger scale.
  • Signalling efficiency should be enhanced seamlessly.
  • Latency should be significantly reduced, as compared to LTE.

It can provide speed of 10 GBps internet speed, which is 100 times faster than the mobile technology networks used these days. The Indian government has started the process to constitute a joint working group, in order to work in the area of 5G. It is even better to see that the central government realises this and is making an effort, so that we do not see the delay that we have seen earlier in technology coming to India.

“Israel has technology and innovation, India has the capital and market. The two areas which emerge out of discussion related to telecom were – reducing roaming charges between India and Israel and exploring the possibilities of standard formulation, research and development, and manufacturing in the area of 4G and 5G,” Erdan commented. At present, Indian telecom operators are providing 2G and 3G services for the entire country and 4G services in some parts of India.

His Indian counterpart Swaraj agreed to his facts and added – “5G will require major efforts in terms of research. The governments needs to support this research effort financially. We also need a global commitment to avoid competing standards, so that we can have one global 5G. This requires agreement on a set of policies like spectrum allocation.

She further commented – “Spectrum is and will remain a major challenge for the success and early rollout of 5G. We do not have enough spectrum in general and 5G is a lot about optimising the use of spectrum. But clearly, allocating more spectrum to 4G and later 5G would help and this is a global challenge. An additional challenge will be to find a globally harmonised band for 5G roaming, since all suitable spectrum is already in use in one or another part of the world. If mobile operators want to deliver more and more capacity, they are going to need more and more wireless spectrum to do it.”

If 5G appears, and reflects these prognoses, the major difference from a user point of view between 4G and 5G techniques must be something else, than the increased peak bit rate such as higher number of simultaneously connected devices, higher system spectral efficiency (data volume per area unit), lower battery consumption, lower outage probability, high bit rates in larger portions of the coverage area, lower latencies, higher number of supported devices, lower infrastructure deployment costs, higher versatility and scalability and higher reliability of communications. Then there is no need for a ‘6G’, if 5G works perfectly like a magic rubber!