5G Technology

The paradigm of security in 5G is continually transforming as technologies and use cases evolve to support it. The associated volume and complexity of new technologies will no doubt increase cybersecurity risks across the value chain.

Wireless carriers around the world are in the race to adopt next-gen networks, which offer faster data rates, reduced latency, energy savings, cost reductions, higher system capacity and massive device connectivity and enable newer applications, businesses and economies, as a chance to get out in front for the first time. 

But, how do governments view this evolution? Who defines the standards? How are companies regulated? What are the new business models? Which entity holds critical standard-essential patents? Which nation has the most pilots to test equipment and applications? Who is the fastest to roll out the infrastructure? And how do we safeguard national security interest vis-a-vis technological evolution? The race for 5G is truly multi-dimensional, highly complex and fast moving. 

5G has the potential to unlock massive commercial deployments of technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), facilitating use cases across industries like automotive, healthcare, retail, media and entertainment, manufacturing, and agriculture amongst others. Further, 5G use cases would have major application for initiatives like smart cities and pave the way for more widespread IoT application. 

If 'big data' is the new oil of the digital era, then 5G is the set of pipes that will deliver it.

To successfully operate a 5G network, telecom operators need spectrum, physical and cloud infrastructure, distributed network architecture, and an agile operating model. Indian telecom operators will also need to develop capability in the form of skills, competence, and operating models. They will also need to partner with capable value chain partners like infrastructure vendors, networking equipment providers, managed services and system integrators, silicon and device vendors among others. A new ecosystem will be required to support this development. 

In the interim, the paradigm of security in 5G is continually transforming as technologies evolve and newer use cases and applications become pervasive. The associated volume and complexity of new technologies will no doubt increase cyber security risks across the value chain and securing undersea cables is critical. 

Overall, a calibrated approach is crucial for aligning national security, internal capabilities, investment needs and strategic intent across stakeholders.

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