Karnataka Science and Technology Academy

Department of Science and Technology, Government of Karnataka

5G Mobile Network  

5 min read
Prakasha Shanbog

Mobile phones have become integral part of our life today, Mobile phone network or Cellular network enables wireless communication using mobile devices, such as mobile phones, smart phones or tablets. Mobile phone network is a radio communication network distributed over land areas called cells, each cell served by at least one fixed-location transceiver, known as a base station, each cell can be of 30Km radius area. Each cell uses a different set of frequencies from neighbouring cells, to avoid interference and provide guaranteed bandwidth within each cell. 

Mobile phone networks have evolved over the time starting from 1G- the first generation.

1G- The first commercial cellular network 1G generation, which was analog launched in Japan by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) in 1979, 1G network was available in US by 1983.

2G- Digital technology made inroads into Telco sector in 1990s and the first commercial digital cellular network 2G generation, was launched in 1991. 2G provided some significant advancements like encrypted calls, and allowed bits of data transfer from one phone to another.

3G- with advanced techniques like frequency and time division multiplexing and standardized protocols 3G generation came to service by 2001, it enabled internet surfing, streaming of music on mobile devices.  

4G- launched in 2009 offering today’s standard services like video streaming, online gaming, high speed data transfer etc. 4G has just about reached its capacity and now the world needs a faster network.

5G- Launched in 2019, expected to be 20 times faster than 4G, will support mass IOT deployment enabling smart cities etc.

5G – More than faster

5G hasn’t been launched across the globe yet, its new network capabilities will lead to the next digital revolution. 5G is so fast, that thinking only about mobile usage is quite limited. The next generation of wireless cellular tech will see the enhancement of machine-to-machine connectivity bringing in a new automated society. Technologies such as AI, IoT, and Cloud Computing will make extraordinary leaps over with the 5G.

In the health industry alone, 5G is revolutionizing the way medical professionals and patients work together. On 5G’s network, Artificial Intelligence will soon diagnose and develop treatment plans for you better than your doctor ever could. Soon, robots could wander on farmer’s fields, monitoring crop conditions.    

5G-gamechanger

5G isn’t just about faster mobile internet with quicker download speeds. 5G is a game-changer, revolutionizing how we live and work in all industries – not just one. It will change almost every aspect of our lives – how we drive, grow our food, and even how we support our favourite sports teams.

5G will completely change our lives, with many possibilities yet to be defined and explored – very similar to how 1G changed ours over 40 years ago.

Apple, Samsung, Goggle, Motorola Companies have already put their phones with 5G compatibility in market, some of the old model phones of these Co.s are also compatible with 5G.

5G- whatelse

5G is based on OFDM (Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing). It is a method to reduce interference by modulating a digital signal across different channels. 5G will enhance the mobile ecosystem to new industries. It will contribute to best user experiences so far such as boundless extreme reality, smooth IoT capabilities, new enterprise applications and instant cloud access etc. With higher data speeds and reliable networks, 5G will have a great impact on businesses. It would boost the efficiency in businesses, at the same time giving users quick access to more information.

5G-Internet of Military things

5G for the military could also additionally improve intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) systems and processing and enable new methods of command and control, It would streamline logistics systems for increased efficiency etc. Every munition, sensor, weapon and wearable device, robots  in the battlefield are connected and they communicate with each other. They connect to their surroundings in their own cyber domains via the internet. The way the military would be able to collect, process and interpret data and control devices and sensors remotely will bring in new dimensions. In the military, it would be used for sensor fusion, merging and analysing data from devices and detection sensors. 

5G-in India

In India, 5G is still at a nascent stage, no commercial development has taken place so far.  Experts say that the move to adopt 5G technology and AI would usher into totally different use cases.

Network operators like Reliance Jio, Airtel, Vodafone Idea, etc, have already partnered with global vendors and working on establishing 5G networks.

Indian Army, Navy and Airforce are most likely to begin using this 5G to include Artificial Intelligence and unmanned vehicles like drones to the centre stage. They will be doing this to build the most advanced defence systems around the globe, which will be country’s pride.

Earlier this year, the Standing Committee on Information Technology was informed that 5G will roll out in India to some extent for specific uses by 2022 as 4G is expected to continue in India for at least another 5-6 years.

Costing perspective

Mobile users do not need a new SIM for 5G, existing 4G SIM will work in your 5G phone, however, there may be some limitations. The SIM card used in 4G networks is based on the same specifications that the 3G SIMs (USIM) were, making them backwards and forward compatible.

4G phones still work on a 5G network, they just won’t get that coveted 5G speed, 5G is not an entirely new network, it’s just added on top of the 4G network. Good side is your 4G phone will keep working just fine and you’ll only have to upgrade if you want 5G’s blazing speed.

The cost of using data on 5G wireless service, which is touted as the fastest generation of mobile technology, will not change much from the current prices that customers pay to avail 4G in India. The next gen 5G technology has the potential to bring data costs even lower than the current 4G costs, industry experts believe.

5G will require new transmission infrastructure, including thousands of cell towers and tens of thousands of antenna – known as small cells and distributed antenna systems.

Prakasha Shanbog

prakasha.shanbog@gmail.com

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