Rajan S. Mathews, director general, COAI
Rajan S. Mathews, director general, COAI

India will miss the bus if it doesn’t adopt 5G tech now

  • 5G with its faster internet speeds and lower latency of 1 millisecond (ms) will be the game changer
  • Just about everything you see will be driven on 5G as it is the only methodology that we know that can deliver this

NEW DELHI : Being surrounded by multiple gadgets and operating them separately can be a nightmare. Internet of Things (IoT) has addressed that by allowing users to control one device with another. While 4G has been a major facilitator for IoT so far, the spurt in number of devices on the network will be huge.

That is where 5G with its faster internet speeds and lower latency of 1 millisecond (ms) will be the game changer. Just about everything you see will be driven on 5G as it is the only methodology that we know that can deliver this. Today, the best latency is about 20ms. We can’t get the types of density that is required in terms of the number of sensors and probes that will be required in terms of IoT through 4G. Similarly, for autonomous driving cars and online surgery, you will need latency of 1ms, feels Rajan S. Mathews, director general at Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI). He points that 5G is not the future. It is now. Users are seeing what is happening in rest of the world and will demand that. Unless telecom operators start adopting it now, they can’t deliver the experience on time. While US telcos have already started to roll out 5G services, it will likely be available by end-2020 in India.

However, he is of the view that we are 10 years behind in terms of policy and regulation. The rules, he says, are hopelessly antiquated, the sites for laying fibre networks not easily available and the spectrum very expensive.

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