Very soon, 5G technology will spread across the nation. Leading Indian smartphone makers have already introduced 5G-capable devices. India is one of the marketplaces for digital consumers that is expanding the fastest, with more than 82 crore internet subscribers and over 117 crore telecom users.
India’s growth story and the country’s drive toward self-reliance depend heavily on digital infrastructure, which seamlessly connects with physical and traditional infrastructure.
The Digital India project needs internet connectivity to be inclusive, and broad deployment of optical fibre in even the most remote regions of the nation is essential to guarantee that no one is left behind in this endeavour.
Let’s examine the fundamentals of 5G and optical fibre in this perspective.
What does the term “5G Technology” mean?
the fifth generation of mobile networks, or 5G. Following 1G, 2G, 3G, and 4G networks, it is a new international wireless standard.
The Low, Mid, and High frequency bands used by 5G each have their own advantages and disadvantages.
It makes possible a brand-new class of network intended to link practically everyone and everything together, including machines, things, and gadgets.
The Government of India’s intention to include the Millimeter Wave (mm Wave) bands in the 5G spectrum auction has drawn criticism from the Satcom Industry Association-India (SIA).
What advantages does 5G offer?
Enhanced Mobile Broadband:
5G mobile technology can bring about new immersive experiences like Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) with faster, more uniform data rates, lower latency, and lower cost-per-bit. In addition to making our devices better.
High Speed Technology:
The mobile network’s download and upload rates will grow thanks to 5G.
It has been tested that internet speeds in the 5G high-band spectrum can reach 20 Gbps (gigabits per second).
The top 4G internet data rate was measured at 1 Gbps.
The latency, or the time it takes for a network to respond, will also be reduced with 5G.
5G will be the first technology to enable this crucial form of Internet of Things interaction (IoT).
The fourth industrial revolution may be significantly facilitated by 5G when combined with IoT, cloud, big data, AI, and edge computing.
A government-appointed panel’s assessment projects that 5G will have a cumulative economic impact of USD $1 trillion in India by 2035. (2018).
By increasing communication between machines and other industries, which would in turn increase efficiency, it will significantly boost India’s economy.
Additionally, production will rise, which will result in enormous revenue collections.
Network deployment will be done collaboratively for the first time thanks to 5G, which will bring the business and technical verticals together.
Network deployment used to be handled internally by the telecoms industry, but going forward, enterprises, technology companies, and cyber experts will collaborate on network deployment.
What Benefits Can Optical Fiber Quantify?
Fiber has standardised performance up to 10 Gbps and beyond, which copper cannot match. Fiber also offers additional bandwidth.
Since fibre has a larger bandwidth than copper line, it can transmit information more effectively and efficiently.
Range of Transmission:
Because data flows through fiber-optic cables like light, there is relatively little signal loss during transmission, enabling data to move more quickly and across longer distances.
Not prone to interference: Compared to copper wire, fiber-optic cable is significantly less prone to electromagnetic interference and noise.
In fact, it is so effective that in most instances, 99.7% of the signal makes it to the router.
Unlike copper wire, fiber-optic cable is entirely resistant to various environmental variables.
Since glass is an insulator and the core is constructed of glass, no electric current can pass through it.
What Exactly Is an Optical Fibre?
The backbone of the digital infrastructure is optical fibre, which transmits data by sending light pulses through lengthy, thin fibre strands.
In optical fibre communication, metal wires are preferable for transmission because the signals move more safely.
The whole internal reflection concept governs how the optical fibre functions (TIR).
Large amounts of data may be transmitted via light rays (In case of long straight wire without any bend).
The optical cables are made to bend all light rays inward in the event of a bend (using TIR).
What Obstacles Face the Indian 5G Rollout?
Low Footprint of Fiberization
India needs to improve its current 30 percent fibre connection, which only connects 30 percent of its telecom towers.
Between April 2020 and November 2021, India sold optical fibre worth $138 million to more than 132 nations.
The use of optical fibre cable in India is anticipated to rise from 17 million fibre kilometres in 2021 to 33 million fibre kilometres in 2026.
Only a little over 30% of cell towers have fibre connectivity; this number needs to increase to at least 80%.
Other nations have been dumping their fibre products into India at prices below market value, including China, Indonesia, and South Korea.
Dumping is described by the World Trade Organization as “an international scenario of price discrimination where the price of a product provided in the importing country is less than the price of that product in the market of the exporting country.”
Deciding on the best 5G technology standard
It is necessary to resolve the conflict between the domestic 5Gi standard and the international 3GPP standard in order to accelerate the adoption of 5G technology.
While 5Gi has certain advantages, it also raises launch costs for 5G India and causes interoperability problems for telecoms.
In order to formalise international mobile 3G wireless systems based on radio access technologies and Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) requirements, the telecommunications industry’s Organizational Partners have formed the 3GPP project.
Hardware “Made in India” Challenge:
The prohibition on specific foreign telecom OEMs (original equipment manufacturers), on which the majority of the development of 5G technology depends, provides a challenge in and of itself.
Government Subsidies of Lower Level:
Given the history of high reserve prices established by governments for spectrum auctions during continuous economic deficits, a low possibility of government subsidies is anticipated.
Setbacks in terms of health and the environment: Several scientists have expressed concern about the effects of 5G and low intensity radiofrequency (RF) and electronic magnetic field (EMF) radiation on human health and the environment.
The health and safety of people, animals, and birds will be severely harmed by 5G technology and the RF radiation it generates from wirefree devices and network cell towers.
Ionizing radiation, also known as radiation at very high doses, heats up human tissue and may eventually cause cancer.
What digital inclusion initiatives is India taking?
The largest optical fiber-based rural broadband connectivity effort in the world is called BharatNet. Additionally, a major project carried out by Bharat Broadband Network Ltd. (BBNL).
In order to actualize the vision of Digital India in collaboration with the States and the business sector, it is a highly scalable network infrastructure that offers on demand, affordable broadband access of 2 Mbps to 20 Mbps for all families and on demand capacity to all institutions.
The Ministry of Communications’ Department of Telecommunication is in charge of carrying it out.
The National Broadband Mission (NMB)
aims to ensure that everyone in the nation has equitable access to broadband services, particularly in rural and isolated locations.
The Mission’s objective is to accelerate the development of the digital communications infrastructure, close the digital divide, support digital inclusion and empowerment, and offer everyone affordable, all-encompassing access to broadband.
The Ghar Tak Fibre Scheme (GTFS) aims to install high-speed optical fibre in every one of Bihar’s 45,945 villages.
As part of the programme, Bihar is required to offer at least five fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connections and one WiFi hotspot every hamlet.
The Program would pioneer digital services in Bihar, enabling easy access for all residents of the state, including e-Education, e-Agriculture, Tele-Medicine, Tele-Law, and other social security programmes.
With the execution of the Bharat Net programme, which will be done by hiring local people, it is also likely to increase the generation of local jobs.
Fibre First Initiative by JanWiFi
What strategy ought should we take moving forward?
Anti-dumping Measures: India should apply anti-dumping measures on imports of inexpensive fibre goods from nations like China, Indonesia, etc.
To increase domestic optical fibre production, the government should take into account implementing a PLI programme that offers incentives to businesses for increased sales of optical fibre produced domestically.
Closing the Rural-Urban Divide:
Different band spectrums can be used for 5G deployment, and the low band spectrum has a significantly greater range that is beneficial for rural areas.
The inputs are entirely under the authority of the government. The band spectrum is one of the main inputs for 5G.
The government may manage the cost that the public will have to pay by controlling how the spectrums are designed.
The government will assist the telecom industry in building networks that are accessible to the general population and scalable.
Consumer-Friendly Technology: In order for 5G to be widely deployed, it must become commercially feasible; otherwise, rural integration would remain a pipe dream.
The 5G technology must also be commercially viable for telecom companies.
RaghukulCS : Questions
Q.) For the Digital India Project to be inclusive, internet connectivity is essential even in the most isolated regions of the nation. In light of this assertion, discuss the value of optical fibers.