It would seem only yesterday the announcement of 4G was made in India. The excitement the news caused was tremendous. 4G was brought to India back in 2014 and since then it has been taken up spectacularly by several of the telecom giants. While the world celebrated The World Technology Day on 15th May, we took a look at the evolution of mobile internet in India.
Airtel was the first to introduce 4G in India, followed by BSNL, Idea, Vodafone and most recently Reliance Jio. Now it would seem that India is ready for the next leap in innovation, which is 5G technology. Chinese smartphone maker Huawei had already struck a deal with Airtel and is starting to test out the first phase of 5G communication.
What does 5G Really Mean?
However, we must understand that this process is going to take a lot of time. As a matter of fact, it would be foolish to expect 5G to hit the markets in India anywhere before 2020. 5G’s commercial test runs have begun in the US already and in Europe, they are going to start shortly.
But what exactly does 5G mean? Like 4G, which is termed LTE (Long-term Evolution), 5G will be transmitted to phones and compatible devices on a certain wavelength. Current transponders attached to our telecom towers do not have the capability to generate such a high frequency which is required for 5G communication.
However, Reliance Jio has already said that it can modify all its communication towers with a single software upgrade. Airtel and Vodafone are also working on the same kind of software to have all 4G capable towers transmit 5G data instantly.
The problem is not the communication towers. The problem right now is that we do not have any device capable of receiving 5G communications. The first phone with 5G capability is expected to be announced on the second half of 2019 and it will be by none other than Huawei.
Qualcomm is working on its latest flagship chipset which is expected to be called Snapdragon 855 and it will come with what the company is calling the X50 5G modem. As of right now, it is unclear which devices will be using the 855 chipsets but we can be sure that Samsung, HTC, LG Sony and OnePlus will be the first to get their hands on it.
Many companies such as SpaceX and OneWeb are working to launch satellite constellation to deliver 5G speeds from space. It is also being rumored that Facebook is also working on a satellite constellation which will deliver 5G speeds from the sky and if rumors are to be believed Facebook could provide us with speeds of nearly 10 Gbps.
These kinds of speeds are currently unheard of but in the future it could become a real possibility. We just have to wait and see what kind of revolution is being brought about by the telecom sector and if the Department of Telecommunications will give permission for it or not.