General Studies – Paper III (Government policies and their interventions, Industrial Growth)
India is the world’s 2nd largest telecommunication market, with a subscriber base of 1.2 Billion.
Expansion of the digital footprint and roll out of new telecom technologies like 5G, and revival of BSNL & MTNL top the government priority.
Efforts are seen being made on a trail day-to-day basis.
Definition :- 5G is the fifth generation cellular technology that apart from increasing the downloading and uploading speeds over the mobile network, also reduces the latency i.e. the time taken by a network to respond.
- 5G will provide download speed of 1 Gbps, which is at least 100 times the existing data speeds.
- It also increases energy efficiency and offers more stable network connections.
Indian Context :- India is considered a late adopter of technology, however 5G is coming out sooner than expected.
2G and 3G had competition for space but 4G and 5G increased cooperation and coordination and generated a competitive environment wherein various PSU’s will have to put in coordinated efforts for the successive penetration of 5G network.
Evolution from First Generation to Fifth Generation
- 1G worked on analog radio signals and supported only voice calls.
- 2G uses digital radio signals and supported both voice and data transmission with a Bandwidth of 64 Kbps (very weak).
- 3G with a speed of 1 Mbps to 2 Mbps and it has the ability to transmit telephone signal including digitised voice, video calls and conferencing.
- 4G with a peak speed of 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps and it also enables 3D virtual reality.
- 5G is the current debate.
Deployment : Fortunately this time we are together with the world in rolling out the 5G network.
- It means that even when 5G is deployed, it will take the telecom giants, a couple of years to achieve the speed of 5G.
- The customers will have to upgrade their SIM cards and buy new 5G enabled phones to access better speeds.
- 3G network was developed 6yrs late, 4G was developed 3yrs late.
How would switching over to 5G benefit Indian consumers ?
1) Ultra high-speed broadband.
2) Latency is very low.
3) Machine to machine communication.
4) We can keep a track on contamination points of rivers.
5) Tracking agricultural yield.
6) Track animals to stop illegal hunting and poaching issues.
7) Connectivity of Optical fiber to rural .
8) Increase in investment will lead to increase in GDP.
How will companies in India provide seamless transition ?
- Adoption or switching over to 5G network is a little different compared to western countries.
- World relates 5G as machine to machine learning, but India has to see how 5G network can benefit agriculture, health industry, decongest roads in cities.
Cases that fit out country.
- 5G network will give business opportunities and generate employment.
- Telecom sector is consumer centric but lot of things are lying back in infrastructure development.
- Changes in usage system will require changes in the industry itself.
- 5G is going to play a major role in industrial revolution 4.0
- The base price should not be compared with other countries as every country has different laws and it’s uses.
- Licencing framework and spectrum line by India is designed for 20 yrs whereas the Korean model is licenced it only for 10 yrs.
- India is a developing nation and should look at the base prices in a holistic manner.
- Operators always want the spectrum prices to be low so that the profit earned by them can be used for other infrastructural purposes.
- Policy makers have a different aspect in pricing as they design the policy for ling term benefits.
- For a smooth 5G rollout the initial prices are suggested to be low since various companies have already spent a lot on 4G spectrum recently.
- A balance has to be maintained in rolling out latest technology with affordable and reasonable prices.
- On an international level, South Korea is the first country to roll-out 5G network on a commercial scale.
- We should follow 5G network on how it benefits our country rather than following other developed nations.
- 5G as a technological upgradation gives a lot of flexibility in what type of service a nation requires.
- Usage habits of India and other nations vary on a large scale therefore coordination among various companies can give a stable output in a large scale.
- 5G network rollout in India will have a cumulative impact that would add 1 Trillion dollars by the year 2035.
Revival of PSU’s –
- Negative profits were seen as PSU’s too much time to upgrade to 4G while ther private sector was fast enough.
- As the PSU’s were trying their best, big companies like Reliance Jio polarised the market.
- A dynamic change along with the political will is needed to revive PSU’s and set them according to private sector standards.
- Suggestions to PSU’s – 1) Upgrading their technology as soon as possible before 5G enters market.
- Upgrading their technology as soon as possible before 5G enters market.
- Reduce exepnditure on employers salaries i.e financial management is a must.
- Monetisation of resources such as land, infrastructure etc.
- The promised speed of 5G is difficult to achieve considering the incompetent technological support in most parts of the world.
- Many of the old devices will need to be replaced as they are not supporting 5G.
- In India average download speed is 9.12 Mbps which is very less in comparison to the global average speed of 23.54 Mbps.
- Number of users in India also poses huge challenge in terms of swift upsurge in mobile broadband consumption and the subsequent network congestion.
- The switch from 4G to 5G will be infrastructure intensive and development of infrastructure for 5G is very expensive.
- An “intelligence-first” approach will need to be adopted by Telecom providers for managing core networks as an important business investment.
- The arrival of 5G-enabling smart devices will change the way we live & think and can be a game changer for better service delivery, faster access to services and deeper penetration of digital services.
- It is high time that India should strengthen the domestic telecommunication manufacturing market to enable local industries to capture both domestic as well as global market.