Technology, Economics and Geopolitics of 5G Cellular - A Compendium
Dr Kamlesh Bajaj

5G is an investment for the next decade. It is not just a game changer; it is likely emerge as a General Purpose Technology (GPT). 5G mobile will move from being a consumer device to an industrial productivity and efficiency tool, with billions of IoT devices connected seamlessly for transformative applications in all sectors of economies and governance models. Smart cities, hospitals, manufato cturing, agriculture, and transport will get transformed with ultra-fast data throughputs, and near zero latency, which will unleash the potential of AI and ML in all these sectors. 5G infrastructure will be the backbone for digital economies throughout the world. Potential global sales activity across multiple industry sectors enabled by 5G could reach $12.3 trillion in 2035. This represents about 4.6% of all global real output in 2035. Global 5G value chain will add $3.8 trillion, with 22 million jobs by 2035. However, cyber security issues in 5G have been linked to the national security challenges, leading to global trade issues, which threaten to divide the world into two blocs. Nations have to decide on the basis of geopolitical risks they perceive. This paper analyses the technology, economics, and geopolitics of 5G in the global context. Finally, the technology, regulatory and other policy challenges facing India that stand in the way of faster rollout of 5G infrastructure in the country, along with geopolitical considerations are discussed.

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