The existing 4G ecosystem can support average data speed of 25mbps, a maximum of 150mbps and typically about 2,000 active users per square kilometre.
A judicious mix of fiberisation and 5G rollout will be required to handle India’s total wireless data usage, which is expected to zoom five times to 13 exabytes/month in 2025 as against 2.7 exabytes/month in first-quarter of 2018, according to an India Ratings report.
“India’s wireless data usage is likely to increase by 2025, led by rising penetration of smartphones, availability of high speed internet at affordable tariffs and shift in media viewership to online platforms from traditional medium. Fiberisation, along with complementary high speed 5G wireless technology would be required as existing 4G ecosystem may face capacity and technological constraints,” the report observes.
The existing 4G ecosystem can support average data speed of 25mbps, a maximum of 150mbps and typically about 2,000 active users per square kilometre. With continued pace of device addition on the network along with higher data usage may put pressure on capacity utilisation of extant network, leading to deterioration in service quality, said the report.
India can formulate its own customised 5G or 4G+ technology than adopting global standards for 5G in toto to focus on improving user experience or cater to evolving enterprise requirement, while avoiding critical applications requiring ultra-low latency, said the report. A judicious mix of 700 megahertz (MHz) and C band (3.4-3.6 gigahertz; GHz) would be ideal, as it would ensure wider coverage and provide good capacity, from the perspective of spectrum, it added.
Indian telcos need to adopt similar technology to optimally utilise and share the available infrastructure, making 5G a financially viable option. However, few questions left unanswered include 5G challenge on net neutrality as some use cases are prioritised, feasibility of 5G for end-users, and payment ambiguity for 5G, stated the report.
Globally, 5G is seen as a key enabler for virtual reality applications and internet of things (IoT). While existing technologies focus on connecting mobile devices, especially smartphones, 5G aims to bring connectivity to an array of devices such as television, computers, household appliances and factory machinery. This increases the need of 5G customisation in India, said the report.