With the launch of the fifth-generation or 5G network, 4G technology will continue to play an important role in the Indian telecom market.
4G vs. 5G: Know The Difference
From merely providing internet access to powering infrastructures, connectivity has witnessed exponential growth. Today, smart cities connect everything from phones, cars, and homes to garbage collection and traffic through IoT technology. But with increasing devices and data explosion, there is a need for new network performance levels. Whether it is Wifi, Bluetooth, 4G LTE, 3G, or any other wireless technology depends on performance trade-offs with their networks powered by IoT. This is where the difference between 4G vs 5G comes in.
5G reaches 19 gigabits per second which is 1000 times faster as opposed to 4G. The latest network can deliver a high-performance level, catering to the needs of a rapidly connected society. As a result, an HD film that took 50 minutes to download over a 4G network will only take nine with 5G.
- Network Slicing
The launch of 5G can help make network slicing more efficient. When the network is divided to tailor speed, coverage, capacity, security, and encryption by reassigning resources from one slice to another slice of the network based on the need.
The improved performance offered by 5G also implies a lower latency rate. With 4G, you get 2000 milliseconds, whereas the 5G latency rate is at one millisecond.
Increased opportunity comes with optimized risk; therefore, the 5G deployment comes with powerful security to allow trust. 5G will provide the extensive deployment of private mobile networks and optimized network access on the segment of third-party suppliers. But 5G comes with all the security protocols to prevent an outbreak.
- The Continuing Importance Of 4G
CEO and co-founder of Ookla, Dough Suttles, revealed that 4G is the dominant network technology in India and will retain its important position in the market for a couple of years even after the rollout of 5G. The company has also observed some recent performance improvement with regards to 4G speeds due to the deployment of more spectrum resources by operators after the spectrum auction hosted in March.
As per the data revealed by Ookla, the availability of 4G is rapidly increasing in the country, with a jump in service metric from 93.5% in the quarter 4 2020 to 96% in quarter 2 of 2021. When it comes to data usage, India ranks among the top regions with the highest usage of mobile data per smartphone worldwide. According to the latest mobility report by Ericsson, a Swedish telecom gear market, India’s data usage is at 14. 6GB per month. It is considerably higher than the global average, which stands at 9GB per month.
Suttles further added that the data is an indication that the market is in a solid position to drive the acceptance of 5G services once they are launched in the country. These services will cater to the market’s demand for higher speeds. Moreover, the increasing 5G services adoption in the market is probably being driven by Dynamic Spectrum Sharing, Open Radio Access Network, and cheap 5G handsets.
Indians, along with global telcos, are considering Open RAN as a viable solution to reduce the costs that will go into the development and maintenance of the 5G network.
Vodafone Ideas has asked the support of the government for start-ups and system integrators to deploy Open RAN at a larger scale. On the other hand, its competitor Bharti Airtel alleged that the inter-functionality facilitated by Open RAN could be harnessed to develop and deploy state-of-the-art applications with new engineering principles as the foundation.
To deliver low-latency, high-capacity bandwidth, telcos have constantly been demanding a reduction in the base reserve price of the premium 700MHz band. The present price of Rs. 6,565 crore for one unit is considered too high to bid.
Furthermore, the Department of Telecommunications has not made any reference to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India for the revision of the base price even though the reputed band remained unsold in the spectrum auctions held in March 2021.
The Ookla executive said that if TRAI is able to sell the C-band spectrum in the auction and also secure bids for the 700MHz, it will allow telcos with increased capacity and coverage of networks. Moreover, the prices will be at a level so that they can balance the demand with network capacity.