The fifth-generation network technology or better known as the 5G networks are expected to start rolling out in the year 2020. However, the telcos and governments in developed countries are taking leaps in terms of technology and are racing ahead to prepare for the upcoming 5G rollouts. The 5G networks are expected to deliver a peak speed of as much as 20Gbps, and they will also power the Internet of Things (IoT) devices. However, with nations like China, Japan, US and South Korea leading the band of countries rolling out 5G, there is going to be a significant emphasis on spectrum sharing.
Superimposing 5G Waves on 4G Networks for Easy Rollouts
The spectrum sharing will be one of the key elements in driving the 5G revolutions in these countries as it is a method of superimposing the 5G carrier waves on top of the existing LTE or 4G spectrum. This technology is extremely crucial for a nation like India, which is currently basing its growth in telecom on the 4G networks and is expected to pivot to 5G network in the coming two or three years. Further, Hammerwall also illustrated that the spectrum sharing could dynamically allocate spectrum to users based on their requirements. In case a 4G and 5G user connects to a network at the same time, both will be allocated the right spectrum. It was also noted by Hammerwall, that Ericsson’s technology works across all bands of LTE, which the company thinks are “most relevant”.
As per a mint report, the existing 4G infrastructure is going to be helpful in the rollout of the 5G network, owing to the spectrum sharing. However, with extensive legacy network laid out by Indian telecom operators, it is going to be a challenge for the cash-strapped telcos to transition to the 5G network.
Legacy 2G and 3G Networks to Present Hurdle
The President of Broadband India Forum, T.V. Ramachandran, also supported the statement, as he said, “A homogenous network is an idea. But a legacy operator has to add new technology on top of existing technologies.” He remarked that if 4G networks are ready, then 5G rollout will be a comparatively easy task with the help of spectrum sharing. But the 2G and 3G legacy networks will present a challenge on this road. According to Hammerwall, the 4G LTE network will take most of the traffic in the coming times while the 2G will be dedicated for voice calling. However, 3G is most likely to die as per the statement.
In a related development, the cash-strapped Indian telecom operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are trying hard to push the 5G spectrum auction to 2020, while the Mukesh Ambani led telco is vying hard to participate in the 5G auctions as early as possible.
Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.