5G in India: Faster connectivity, IoT, Smart Cities, socio-economic impact and more

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A peek into the future of connectivity.

Even though 4G and smartphones penetration has grown in India, the state of the mobile communications in the country is still fragmented and inconsistent. While the rapid growth of 4G is the main high point, issues such as call drops and consistent data coverage still mar the experience. Consumer demands are increasing by leaps and bounds but the very mention of 5G seems futuristic and a distant dream to realize. Even as we identify and address the issues, the buzz around 5G has begun in India, and the industry seems bullish on the next generation communication technology.

In a time when smart products and automation is fast becoming a norm in global cities, India is stuck with issues including cell tower emissions, resistance by local bodies, insufficient funding, and so on. Regulatory bodies, operators, and government agencies are now together looking at overcoming these roadblocks to usher towards the era of 5G. It is expected that by the year 2020, India will be ready for adopting the new technology. ALSO READ: Airtel, BSNL sign MoUs with Nokia to bring 5G networks to India

Shyam Mardikar, CTO, Bharti Airtel explains, there are 3Vs in the Indian telecom space – Voice (2001-2010), Video (2010-2020), and Virtuality (2020-2030). Going by his definition, we are right now in the Video phase and quite aptly so. There are now more people going live through Facebook, more people making video calls through WhatsApp, and more of entertainment content moving towards the digital platform. In a recent study, it was revealed that India is the top country to make the most video calls – 50 million video calling minutes- per day. We already have companies experimenting with virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. At this pace, on one hand, the adoption of newer technologies is fast pacing, while on the other it is also somehow deepening the divide between India and Bharat. This divide can be bridged by wider coverage, real-time awareness, and massive capacity of the spectrum.