5G Current Affairs - 2019

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BSNL Revival Plan

The Union Cabinet on October 23, 2019 approved the proposal for revival of BSNL and MTNL. It allotted the 4G spectrum to the institutions. The MTNL will act as a subsidy to BSNL. A four-step revival plan has been announced for BSNL. Also, the GoI plans to raise Rs 15,000 crore through sovereign bonds.

Significance

Both BSNL and MTNL were making losses for the state since a long time. MTNL is Mahangar Telephone Nigam Limited, a state-owned entity that provides telecom services at New Delhi and Mumbai and in Mauritius. It was founded in 1882. There are around 25,191 employees working with the company.

The BSNL loss is estimated to be around Rs 14,000 crore with a decline in revenue of Rs 19,308 crores during 2018-19. The loss of MTNL was around Rs 755 crores (in Q4, May 2019). The companies hold salary dues and pension dues for the employees. The total debts held by the companies amount to Rs 40,000 crores.

With merger under Rs 70,000 crore plan and 4G spectrum offering will help the entities in monetizing their assets. They can raise capital expenditure required to roll out the network and bring in efficiency in their operations.

South Korea Launched the world’s First Nationwide 5G mobile Network

South Korea launched the world’s first nationwide 5G mobile networks on 11 pm April 3, 2019. Three top telecom providers SK Telecom, KT, and LG Uplus launched the 5G services.

South Korea launched the 5G services two days ahead of the schedule as there were speculations that US mobile carrier Verizon might start its 5G services early. Verizon began rolling out its 5G services in Chicago and Minneapolis on April 3, a week ahead of schedule. Reports suggest the 5G network in South Korea was launched in South Korea two hours ahead of the US.

Benefits of 5G

5G will provide smartphones with near-instantaneous connectivity, 20 times faster than 4G. This allows users to download entire movies in less than a second.

5G will deliver vastly increased capacity, lower latency, and faster speeds. 5G networks will operate in a high-frequency band between 28 GHz and 60 GHz. This range is known as the millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum and the sub-6 GHz range that LTE calls home will also be used. As a result, a lot of bandwidth will be available to users.

In addition to greater bandwidth, the new 5G networks will have a dense, distributed network of base stations in the small cell infrastructure. This will allow more processing to happen on the edge, leading to lower latencies.

The 5G technology is crucial for the future development of devices such as self-driving vehicles and is expected to bring about $565 billion in global economic benefits by 2034.