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5G Technology

Prelims- Science & Technology, Mains-GS-3-Technology

The fifth generation (5G) of wireless technology provides mobile internet speeds 10 times faster and will connect billions of new devices to the internet that will in turn help transform a wide range of services and industries.

What are the benefits for India?

a. India is considered a prized market for global 5G manufacturers.

b. It is estimated that the total economic impact of 5G in India can exceed $1 trillion by 2035.

How should India get ready?

a. Telecom technology generations evolve in decade timeframes. It will take foresight and strong execution of a national plan to make India a relevant player in the next evolution of telecom technology.

b. So, India needs to take a long-term view and place its interest in front.

Which areas need focus?

1. Infrastructure Development

a. Competition must be kept high, telecom equipment pricing low, and access to the full range of technology options.

b. Full benefits of 5G must be provided at the lowest cost and in the shortest time possible.

2. National Security

a. Minimize any security risks to critical telecom Infrastructure.

b. Common threat perception picture: Perform an integrated threat assessment by a multi-stakeholder and multidisciplinary (private sector led) task force.

c. Risk mitigation programme by the National Critical Information Infrastructure Protection Centre (NCIIPC).

d. Augment existing structures and capacities for testing, audits and equipment validation to cover the new risks from billions of new devices connecting to the 5G network.

e. Consider forming a techno-diplomatic alliance with partner countries at risk from the same telecom products.

f. Create an information sharing and competency building agreement with partners. Russia, Japan, France, and Germany are some of the potential partner countries.

g. For extremely sensitive applications establish “no-go” zones for specific equipment on a case-by-case basis to ensure national security.

h. As much of the 5G investments will be by private entities, balance between the corporate objectives and national concerns like cyber-security and infrastructure protection needs collaborative approach.

3. Maximize India’s Value creation

a. India has limited intellectual property in 5G technologies and is largely going to be a buyer of this technology.

b. So, the size of the Indian market and strengths in services and software must be leveraged to provide skilled labour to design, install, and monitor these networks

c. The 5G ready talent pool has to be increased through capacity building so that Indian talent can be used across the world.

d. Setting up “use-case validation and development centres” has to be incentivized to develop new applications of 5G that are most relevant to India’s social development (health, education, agriculture, transportation and Water). These solutions can also be exported.

e. For vendors winning large 5G contracts in India, preferential agreements with Indian software companies could be considered for Joint ventures.

Source: The Indian Express.