Status Check: When Do We Get to Use 5G?
It’s true that around 40,000 villages in India don't savor mobile services. There is no denying the fact that 3G/4G mobile networks in our subcontinent encrust only 88 percent of the population. But that is no excuse to refrain from going 5G, which is the smarter, faster and more efficient successor to the 4G networks. The main advantage of the new networks is its greater bandwidth, which will provide higher download speed – up to 10 gigabits per second. Ever since the global rollout of the 5G network started, we have been all ears to the terminology, but what’s its status in our country? Let’s dig into some of the aspects.
Previously, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) had scheduled the 5G spectrum (3300 megahertz to 3600 megahertz) auction to be held in June, but the pandemic has propelled the authority to push the auction to a later date, probably in the October-December quarter. The decision making is also influenced by the Indian telcos’ continuing request to conduct the
auction without reserve price, which indeed is the highest in the world. TRAI has proposed a reserve price of Rs.492 crore per megahertz. This will entail operators to pay around Rs.50,000 crore for 100 MHz pan-India spectrum. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN body has mandated 100 MHz as the minimum spectrum required to deliver 5G services. As the government looks forward to selling 8303.05 MHz of 4G and 5G spectrum, we are looking at raising a minimum of Rs.5.23 lakh crore.
The leaders in the domain like Jio effuse hopes to speed up the process
Then again, even if the auction is conducted during the October-December quarter, it's just the first stone. The rollout could take months. The probable date of 5G rollout is likely to be 2021-22. But on the other hand, the leaders in the domain like Jio effuse hopes to speed up the process. In July this year, Jio, which concocted 4G revolution and democratized high speed internet in India, proclaimed that it has already developed a 5G solution for India, comprising all-made-in-India tools and technologies and that the company will hit the ground running with its 5G services as soon as the spectrum is made available by the government. Lending the words of Mukesh Ambanim, Chairman, Reliance Industries: “Jio has created a complete 5G solution from scratch, that will enable us to launch a world-class 5G service in India, using 100 percent home grown technologies and solutions.” Hence, we cannot rule out the possibility that you could fire up your mobile devices with 5G before the end of 2021.
The countries that have already started 5G rollout are South Korea, China, Germany, UK, and the US. Globally, the commercial 5G networks have been deployed in 378 cities across 34 countries. South Korea leads the race of deployment, making 5G networks available in around 80 cities, followed by China, which has rolled out in more than 50 cities. The US is looking forward to expanding the network availability rapidly and lead the race as well.