5G Technology Current Affairs - 2020

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5G trials to start in Jan-Mar quarter this fiscal: DoT

The 5G (the fifth generation of wireless technology) trials are expected to begin in the last quarter of current fiscal (2019-2020). The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has received 12 applications for 5G trials and it has neither approved nor rejected any applicant’s proposal so far. However, it is still unknown that whether the government has taken a decision on Huawei’s participation.

Key Highlights

Any proposal on 5G is required to address twin considerations, with first being the adoption of new technology, and second the imperatives of national security. The 5G technology has phenomenal potential of speed and futuristic applications but it is yet to evolve and major global players are themselves in process of evaluating ecosystem and use cases for 5G.

NOTE: 5G should not be linked to general spectrum auctions – which is expected to take place in March-April 2020. Also, a Financial/ Fiscal Year in India is from 1st April to succeeding 31st March.

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5G Spectrum Auction by year end

The Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad recently announced that the 5G spectrum auction will be conducted by the year end or early next year. Under 5G spectrum the GoI plans to auction around 8,293 MHz of air waves. The total base prize of the wavelengths is set as Rs 5.86 lakh crore rupees.

The last spectrum sale, 4G spectrum was conducted in 2016.

Spectrum Auction

Spectrum Auction is a process where a government uses an auction system to sell the rights to transmit electromagnetic signals overs specific bands. The 5G spectrum will deliver faster and better broad band services as compared to 4G. It can deliver up to 20 Gbps (Giga Bytes per second). In addition, 5G spectrum will also deliver lower latency and higher data rates even when users are moving around

Use of millimeter waves in 5G

There are plans to use millimeter waves in 5G. Millimeter waves are the shorter range of micro waves. Hence, the cells are limited to smaller size in these waves. Also, they have smaller antenna as compared to the previous networks.

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