India, Europe join hands to roll out 5G services

  • M Rajendran, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 15, 2014 01:13 IST

Fifth-generation (5G) mobile phone technology will come as a blessing for people such as Indian cab drivers who hate to miss the live action of an India-Pakistan cricket match — because the streaming speeds can be 40 times faster than the best technology today.

Cab drivers have to wait all day for their bosses near the car, while they attend meetings or are in a conference venue, said Luis Jorge Romero, director-general of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), as he illustrated the advantage of 5G services,

ETSI is the organisation that created a global system for mobile communications (GSM). It is currently setting standards for 5G in partnership with experts from India.

A 5G service can download an 800 MB file in one second, which compares with the 40 seconds that 4G technology offers today. A typical Indian movie, which is around 1,500 MB (1.5 GB), can be downloaded in about two seconds. Current 3G speeds are half of 4G levels.

With such high speeds, cab drivers, among others, who have unique demands from telecom services will lay the roadmap for 5G standards, its policy thrust and rollout in India.

“5G is about the services people need and should get, using telecom network that can offer tariffs as low as $5 (`307) a month and devices cost less than $35,” said Kumar N Sivarajan, chairman of Telecommunications Standards Development Society of India. He added, “India does not need Internet speed to control their air conditioners, fridge or microwave, but they need it to watch a live cricket match without latency.”

Early this week at the CeBIT computer expo in Germany, British Prime Minister David Cameron said his government wants 5G technology rolled out quickly. Many countries in Europe such as Germany, France and Spain too are working on this standard to launch 5G services.

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