We discuss the following topics in this blog:
- Enabling human-to-device connectivity via 5G.
- Impact of 5G on the common man.
- Immersive Entertainment, Smart Living and more.
- Role of Deep ‘Fiberisation’ in Data Networks.
In addition to these topics, we shall also be answering the following FAQs:
- What is WiFi?
- What is an Optical Fibre Cable?
What is the 5G Future That We All Read About?
These days, the word 5G is used very often and it is usually used in the future tense, especially in the Indian context. We say that 5G will change the way we live. It will enable human to device connectivity, some also say that it will enable driverless cars. And we immediately get into the future, thinking about the time when a huge number of Ubers (without drivers) will be queued outside a super crowded CNG station, for their daily fuelling ritual, in a buzzing locality of Delhi NCR…
This visualisation, despite being plausible, seems kind of far-fetched, right? Let us now imagine a realistic scenario. With 5G, what will happen to Mr Sharma? The Indian neighbour, whom all of us know all too well?
But How Will 5G Impact the Indian ‘Common Man’?
So when 5G is launched in India, will you see your very own Mr Sharma walking down the street with his virtual reality headset or riding to his office in his own driverless car? That might happen, but not so soon.
Before we get there, there will be many small and big ways in which 5G will change Mr Sharma’s life.
For starters, 5G will make his mobile connection much more reliable. Currently, Sharma Ji often faces problems watching matches on his phone. Network availability and quality of experience especially on video streaming, downloading, live TV or video call is far from seamless. With 5G, he would probably never see the buffering icon on his mobile screen.
A Peek into Mr Sharma’s 5G Life!
Beyond Facebook, News and Videos
With a 5G connection, Mr Sharma’s world will converge into his smartphone. All areas of his life like his entertainment, his home, his travel and his workplace will be available as ‘icons’ on his smartphone. The possibilities are exciting and endless.
Today also, Mr Sharma is glued on to his screen, watching matches or documentaries. He also has a smart TV at home, on which he watches a variety of content. But 5G will bring an unprecedented experience to his living room.
- Imagine a live virtual reality experience of an IPL match where he can control the time, target and even the angle from which he is watching.
- With blazing download speeds, he will be able to download (not only stream) a full HD movie in less than 10 seconds!
Currently Mr Sharma owns only one smart device – his high end smartphone. But with 5G, he will have a smart home with all kinds of smart devices. Everything from his morning tea to his master key will be powered with high speed data. Imagine the following scenarios:
- As soon as his Fitbit detects the first signs of his waking, it would switch on the lights, open the curtains and power his smart tea machine to brew his tea!
- Now he wouldn’t have to track his uber or call the driver. He can sit back and relax till the smart lights in his room start to blink, indicating that his taxi has arrived.
- There is more. He will now be able surprise his wife with a clean house just by remotely instructing his vaccum cleaner. He would be able auto-inform Mrs Sharma when he leaves work, and even switch on the AC before he reaches home – just with the tap of a finger, sometimes even without that!
Currently Mr Sharma owns a car but doesn’t enjoy driving on congested and unsafe roads. Driverless cars are far-fetched but Smart cars are not!
- His smart and connected car would make his life much easier through features like- auto alerts on over speeding, service reminders (in case of any snags), auto triggered calls in case of an accident
- All personal and public vehicles connected to central traffic surveillance system would enable real time re-routing of traffic to make commuting more efficient.
- Mr Sharma often takes public transport to avoid parking hassles. He wouldn’t have to do that anymore! Parking spaces could be identified by low cost 5G sensors on street lamps which can direct his car to nearby parking spaces without circling around congested roads!
A new way of Working & Collaboration
- Today Mr Sharma commutes to office. In the future; he might ‘telecommute’ to office or anywhere! Telepresence & virtual reality solutions would enable seamless two-way conferencing and will open up many options for day to day office meetings, and even for catching up with friends & family.
- Some years from now, time and space will get crunched into virtual reality applications and there is a possibility that Sharma Ji would never miss a meeting, or an event or a family wedding.
Mr. Sharma’s and our 5G lives are Dependent on Deep ‘Fiberisation’ in Data Networks
There is a lot of buzz around 5G in India. But this transition to 5G requires investments in network infrastructure. With the hefty ask of delivering upto 1000 times increased bandwidth, 100 times more connected devices and latency of less than 1ms, mobile operators will have to adopt ‘small cell networks’ which strategically bring the network closer to the users. Small cells can be backhauled over copper, microwave or fibre. With fibre being most scalable, secure and cost-effective option, it is expected to play a pivotal role in 5G rollout world over.
What is WiFi?
Put simply, WiFi is a technology that uses radio waves to create a wireless network through which devices like mobile phones, computers, printers, etc., connect to the internet. A wireless router is needed to establish a WiFi hotspot that people in its vicinity may use to access internet services. You’re sure to have encountered such a WiFi hotspot in houses, offices, restaurants, etc.
To get a little more technical, WiFi works by enabling a Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN that allows devices connected to it to exchange signals with the internet via a router. The frequencies of these signals are either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidths. These frequencies are much higher than those transmitted to or by radios, mobile phones, and televisions since WiFi signals need to carry significantly higher amounts of data. The networking standards are variants of 802.11, of which there are several (802.11a, 802.11b, 801.11g, etc.).
What is an Optical Fibre Cable?
An optical fibre cable is a cable type that has a few to hundreds of optical fibres bundled together within a protective plastic coating. They help carry digital data in the form of light pulses across large distances at faster speeds. For this, they need to be installed or deployed either underground or aerially. Standalone fibres cannot be buried or hanged so fibres are bunched together as cables for the transmission of data. This is done to protect the fibre from stress, moisture, temperature changes and other externalities. There are three main components of a optical fibre cable, core (It carries the light and is made of pure silicon dioxide (SiO2) with dopants such as germania, phosphorous pentoxide, or alumina to raise the refractive index; Typical glass cores range from as small as 3.7um up to 200um), Cladding (Cladding surrounds the core and has a lower refractive index than the core, it is also made from the same material as the core; 1% refractive index difference is maintained between the core and cladding; Two commonly used diameters are 125µm and 140µm) and Coating (Protective layer that absorbs shocks, physical damage and moisture; The outside diameter of the coating is typically either 250µm or 500µm; Commonly used material for coatings are acrylate,Silicone, carbon, and polyimide).
An optical fibre cable is made up of the following components: Optical fibres – ranging from one to many. Buffer tubes (with different settings), for protection and cushioning of the fibre. Water protection in the tubes – wet or dry. A central strength member (CSM) is the backbone of all cables. Armoured tapes for stranding to bunch the buffer tubes and strength members together. Sheathing or final covering to provide further protection.
The five main reasons that make this technology innovation disruptive are fast communication speed, infinite bandwidth & capacity, low interference, high tensile strength and secure communication. The major usescases of optical fibre cables include internet connectivity, computer networking, surgery & dentistry, automotive industry, telephony, lighting & decorations, mechanical inspections, cable television, military applications and space.