On October 1, 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi formally launched the country’s 5G services, ushering in a period of ultra-high-speed mobile internet.
Following the launch, Srijan Pal Singh, who served as Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s adviser on policy and technology during his time as India’s 11th president, outlined what to anticipate from this technology in the next years.
He declared that India’s adoption of 5G technology “is genuinely ushering in a new era of Digital India.”
He claims that a variety of industries, including agriculture, healthcare, education, and even governance, will be impacted by 5G.
According to him, agriculture would gain from increased real-time product information and the availability of IoT-connected equipment like drones.
By enabling a number of cutting-edge, new technologies, the launch of 5G-enabled technologies is expected to change the telco and other industries. By 2035, 5G-enabled applications are expected to generate more than $12 trillion in global economic output, he continued.
According to Singh, 5G offers exceptional speed and minimal latency, making fully autonomous or self-driving automobiles a reality on Indian roads.
According to him, an autonomous car is anticipated to produce up to 25 GB of data every hour, which only 5G can handle.
The expert further noted that while users can currently use 4G to get up to 100 Mbps (Megabits per second) of internet speed, 5G would offer speeds of up to 10,000 Mbps (or 10 Gbps), which is around 100 times quicker.
He thinks that India can finally realise its vision of establishing knowledge economies in rural areas once 5G infrastructure is put in place.
In addition, Singh stated that 5G is anticipated to deliver processing power to India’s 600,000 villages, which is consistent with Dr. Kalam’s PURA model, where he stated that electronic connectivity will be the biggest asset for India’s rural development and economic empowerment.
However, given that 5G is anticipated to strengthen the idea of Digital India, many are unsure as to whether it will render 3G and 4G obsolete.
Singh predicted that “new, cheaper, and superior technology will be adopted by society in favour of older systems,” similar to how horse carriages were supplanted by cars.
He continued by stating that there is also the issue of 5G-capable gadgets in the near future. They are now more expensive than their 4G counterparts by roughly 10% to 20%. Additionally, he noted that consumers already had gadgets from a previous generation, which would require some time to replace.
THE NEW DIGITAL ROAD IN INDIA
Since the programme is only being introduced in 13 places, fewer than 10% of people will have access to it.
Singh mentioned that over the period 2023-2040, 5G technologies will contribute approximately $ 450 billion to the Indian economy, or approximately 0.6% of GDP.
According to the global telecom industry body GSMA, India will have 920 million unique mobile subscribers by 2025, with approximately 10% of those being 5G users, while other organisations have been more optimistic, quoting that figure as high as 20%.
According to Singh, the “gig economy” and IT-based industries would both experience an instant boost in the short term. Within this decade, the power of IoT, networked devices, and the sector built on Human-Machine Interfaces will experience a tremendous influence.
There were around 70 nations with 5G networks deployed as of July 2022, up from only 38 at the same time in mid-2020, including the US, China, and most of Europe.
When asked how India compares to the US and China in terms of technology, he responded that both nations are a few years ahead of India in terms of 5G implementation and that “we too require considerable investments in speeding up the rollout of 5G.”
He also mentioned the potential risks associated with cybersecurity in the 5G era.
The manufacturing of 5G networks and gadgets, according to Singh, who co-authored the books Target 3 Billion and Advantage India with Dr. Kalam, should be done as locally as feasible.