Industrial revolutions have been historically characterized by the development of new physical infrastructure networks. The fourth industrial revolution's full potential will be realized largely through the wide-scale deployment of 5G communication networks. Especially for the Indian economy at its current stage of socioeconomic development, 5G will be critical as it will facilitate unprecedented levels of connectivity. 5G's defining technological features will transform many key sectors of our economyincluding manufacturing, transportation, education, health and public services. As India eyes transition to 5G telephony, the country is set to witness the biggest-ever auction of spectrum with the government putting up 72,000 MHz of mobile airwaves on sale. This is the largest quantity of its kind being sold at one go, and it adds new frequencies and bands in line with global standards.
The pandemic highlighted the enabling nature of digitalization in many sectors of the economy, especially education and healthcare. With the enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) feature of 5G, the full potential of digital education can be harnessed. Given the limitations of physical infrastructure in India, eMBB can deliver high-quality educational content to every student in far-flung parts of the country. In healthcare, the ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC) feature of 5G will enable user-friendly point-of-care diagnostics, as well as the creation of a connected ambulance service. Along with m-health, 5G will also considerably improve access to global medical advice, resulting in better follow-up care.
5G's speed, reliability and scale are already unlocking huge socioeconomic gains in various parts of the world. This is the technological future of humankind … and India needs to catch up with it at the earliest. Businesses stand to gain significantly from strategic 5G adoption, and they will be the driving force behind its dissemination. This opportunity for innovation is what will drive value back to stakeholders deploying this new and sophisticated infrastructure across the world.
As the IT and telecom sectors get increasingly intertwined, there is now a broader ecosystem of companies contributing to the evolution of networking technologies that will shape our socioeconomic future in the coming years. In dealing with this evolving scenario, it is the new 5G solutions that will have a defining role to play. 5G is estimated to cover a third of the world’s population by 2025, and add $ 2.2 trillion to the global economy by 2034. 5G technology has a vital role to play in enabling ubiquitous and accessible public services in pandemic conditions, as well as against the reemergence of Covid in a post-pandemic era.
To ensure that the many socioeconomic revolutions enabled by the next-generation networks become a reality, both the public and private sectors should be clear about the potential of 5G. Policymakers should do all they can to enable a speedy rollout. Almost every feature of 5G has numerous applications across key socioeconomic dimensions. We need to embrace and leverage 5G to realize the vision of a technologically savvy and inclusive India. The prospect of a digitally enabled economy and a new age of insight defined by allied discoveries, truly has the potential to benefit all sections of society, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid.