How does 5G works? Unlike previous generations of mobile technology, which tended to introduce a single novel feature for users (1G let you walk and talk, 2G let you send texts, 3G got you onto the internet and 4G let you stream), 5G promises a whole suite of dramatic improvements. It uses entirely new wireless infrastructure to achieve speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G and promises to nearly eliminate any processing delays, kick-starts internet, appliances, and sensors at low cost without draining their batteries.

The Fangshan Govt and China Mobile, country’s largest mobile operator, outfitted a 10-km road with 5G cell towers (in pic). Since September 2018, companies have been using the connectivity to test wireless communications between autonomous vehicles and their surroundings. The 5G network transmits data from car sensors, roadside sensors and video cameras installed above the road to a local data center, which analyzes information and sends it back to the vehicles to help them navigate.

Indian armed forces posted along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) of Indo-China border have been facing problem in radio communication as China rolled out 5G network along its side of border, a report published on 07.07.22 in Indian Express had claimed.

“A strange booming sound is heard in communication equipment due to the 5G waves which China is using on its side of LAC. This had left Indian authorities concerned in scrambling to find a solution to deal with the pressing problem,” sources had said then.

According to a Chinese report on 21.06.21, “China Tower was formed in 2014, when the country’s mobile carrier China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom transferred their telecom towers to the new company. The three telcos decided to create new entity in a move to reduce redundant construction of telecommunications infrastructure across the country. China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom currently own a 38%, 28.1% and 27.9% stake respectively. State-owned asset manager China Reform Holding owns the remaining 6%. By 2020 end, China Telecom had reported 2.02 million tower sites under management, up 29,000 for 2021, with an additional 12,000 tenants at 3.175 million.

China ended first quarter of 2021 with total 819,000 5G base stations, up from 771,000 5G sites by at 2020 end, Global Times had reported quoting a Chinese paper.

The world’s highest-altitude base station at about 6,500 meters above sea-level north of Mount Everest now has the ultrafast 5G signals coverage on “the highest peak of the world”. Organizers, China Mobile Hong Kong (CMHK), and Huawei started operations after they installed the world’s highest 5G communication towers in remote region of Tibet. CMHK announced to the world that it successfully operated its dual Gigabit network and “8K live broadcasts on 5G network” was not a dream anymore in its official press release on the website, had reported on 02.05.20.

According to many strategic analysts, Chinese companies have made massive investments in several countries to spread a 5G network for “a digital encirclement of the world”. Just as the BRI (Belt and Road) initiative aims at physical domination, the 5G network aims at complete domination of the virtual world. Chinese companies like Huawei and ZTE will build the 5G infrastructure as 5G is the most efficient enabler of the ‘Internet of Things’, that will have the ability to access and control the data of individuals, groups or even nations.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has sprung to action to find a permanent solution to the problem,” a source said, adding, “Plans are being discussed to launch a new satellite to be used for Indian armed forces which will help in using K-band frequency only by defence forces and radio astronomy”, PTI had reported on 07.07.22.

On communication network problems for Indian troops in northern borders, former defence scientist Ravi Gupta, told The New Indian Express, “If at all there is any problem in communication equipment due to 5G used by China in northern borders, the DRDO is capable enough to resolve it.”

While China has rolled out 5G across the LAC, there is a lack of mobile network in border areas on Indian side. Chushul councillor Konchok Stanzin in Ladakh had flagged the poor network in the border areas.

On 02.06.22, he had raised the issue once again in twitter : “Requesting from ground zero for 4G in border villages. Chushul constituency’s villages are still deprived of better communication facilities. Don’t treat us as second class citizens. My villages are not normal; but border villages treated as a priority.”

China after completing bridge over Pangong Lake despite India’s objection has installed three mobile towers near Hot Spring very close to the Indian Territory, he had said and wondered: “Isn’t it a concern? We don’t even have 4G facilities in human habitation villages; 11 villages in my constituency have no 4G facilities.”

India shares 3,488-km border with China that runs along states of Jammu and Kashmir (1,597-km), Uttarakhand (345-km), Sikkim (220-km), Himachal Pradesh (200-km) and Arunachal Pradesh (1,126-km). As the border is not clearly demarcated, there are disputes over territories in several areas. Both the countries have been locked in a military standoff since Galwan Valley clash in May 2020 and several rounds of military and diplomatic talks have taken place to resolve the issue.