Mobile World Congress 2019 starts this week. Every year major tech names launch new smartphones equipped with the latest technology. Discussions on 5G (Fifth Generation) are gaining momentum as most of the countries aim for the commercial rollout by the end of 2019. The Government of India is also in plans to make 5G services available in the country with the global rollout. The 5G spectrum auction is likely to be held in the month of June-July, 2019. Spectrum is the fuel for the telecom industry.
Predecessors of 5G
In this article, I will try to give you an overview of 5G mobile services, What it’s predecessors offered and what’s the road ahead? It all started with 1G, launched in 1979. It was based on analog technology. One could only make a voice call or send a text message. The communication channels had a lot of noise.
2G was the first network that was built on digital technology. 2.5G and 2.75G enabled Internet and multimedia services. 2.5G was popularly called GPRS and allowed data transfer up to 64kbps. 2.75G was called EDGE and allowed data transfer up to 256 kbps. 4G operators (without VoLTE) still use the 2G network for routing voice calls.
Next was 3G mobile services. It introduced video calling and high-speed internet services. 3G – WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) and 3G-HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) offered speeds of up to 384kbps and 14.4mbps. Many operators are planning to phase out 3G services by the end of 2020.
4G network was a packet-based network. It’s meant for data usage. Voice calls are routed through the 3G/2G network. 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the upgraded version of the 4G network. Theoretically, you can browse up to 100mbps. The VoLTE (Voice over LTE) technology allows voice calls to be routed through the 4G network. Thanks to VoLTE technology, voice calls are now completely FREE in India.
5G Technology- The way ahead…
Some countries have already started 5G trials. The main objective of 5G technology is higher Internet speeds and lower latency. 5G technology will use Milli-Meter Waves as carrier. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) will conduct the 5G spectrum in the 2nd half of 2019. 5G will give a major boost to IoT (Internet of Things).
Experts say that 5G network will follow wherever you go, instead of running after it. 5G will boost the usage of driverless cars that can be controlled from distant locations. The 5G technology will also give a boost to the ‘Digital India’ initiative. The Government of India is in plans to launch 5G services by late of 2019 or early 2020. We have missed the race in 3G and 4G but, the same is unlikely in 5G.
You can expect handset makers to launch 5G-supported handsets at the upcoming Mobile World Congress. Indian telecom operators have already started 5G trails with network equipment manufacturers and have claimed to receive a positive response.
5G will increase the network capacity – making space for more devices to get connected to the Internet. Everything will become smart – from switches to appliances that you use. The future is exciting, isn’t it?
5G is going to be a hot topic in the Tech Industry for 2019 – 2020. You can expect some fireworks in 5G space, in a couple of months from now.