Telecommunication Sector Current Affairs - 2020

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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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Airtel, Huawei successfully conduct India’s first 5G network trial

Telecom Major Bharti Airtel and Chinese telecom equipment maker Huawei have successfully conducted India’s first 5G (fifth generation) network trial. It was conducted at Airtel’s network experience centre in Manesar, Gurugram (Haryana) and was able to achieve over 3 gigabit per second (Gbps) data speed.

Key Facts

The setup for this 5G trial involved 5G RAN that operated on 3.5GHz network band, along with 5G Core and 50GE network slicing router. In duration of tests, a user throughput speed of 3Gbps was achieved, claimed to be highest for 3.5GHz band. The tests were conducted within a 100MHz bandwidth and resulted in a 1-millisecond end-to-end network latency.

Significance

The test is small but significant step in its journey towards next generation 5G mobile networks, which could offer data speed up to 100 times faster than current 4G networks. It also demonstrates spectral efficiency and potential for diversified services such as Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR), which can be delivered by 5G technology to serve a digitally connected world.

Background

India is planning to roll out 5G services for consumers by 2020. To achieve this objective, Government in September 2017 had set up high-level forum that will evaluate and approve roadmaps and action plans to bring in the latest technology.

5G

5G is wireless communication technology based on third-generation partnership project (3GPP). It is next generation mobile networks technology after 4G LTE networks. It is expected to offer enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) through R15 repeaters that can cater to coverage requirements.

In December 2017, 3GPP had completed first set of 5G New Radio standards. The 5G technology will offer far greater upload and download speed available at present.

High data speed offered by 5G network will help cloud systems to stream software updates, music, and navigation data to driverless cars. Moreover, it holds the key to growth of artificial intelligence (AI) systems and enhance IoT. As per the OECD Committee on Digital Economic Policy, 5G technologies rollout will help in increasing GDP, creating employment and digitizing the economy.

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