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DoT gives go-ahead to telecom service providers for 5G trials in India

The Telecom Department on Tuesday gave Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) a go-ahead to conduct 5G trials in India. The applicant TSPs include Bharti Airtel Reliance Jio Infocomm, Vodafone Idea and MTNL.

(Picture for Representation | Reuters)

Highlights

  • 5G technology is expected to deliver an improved user experience in terms of data download rates with greater spectrum efficiency and ultra-low latency.
  • The duration of the trials, at present, is for a period of 6 months, which includes a time period of 2 months for procurement and setting up of the equipment.
  • DoT has noted that the trials will be isolated, non-commercial, and not connected with the existing networks of TSPs.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT), on Tuesday, gave permissions to Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to conduct trials for use and applications of 5G technology in India. The applicant TSPs include Bharti Airtel Reliance Jio Infocomm, Vodafone Idea and MTNL. These TSPs have tied up with original equipment manufacturers and technology providers which are Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DOT. Further, Reliance Jio will be conducting trials using its own indigenous technology, the department noted.

The permissions have been given by DoT as per the priorities and technology partners identified by TSPs themselves. The experimental spectrum is being given in various bands which include the mid-band (3.2 GHz to 3.67 GHz), millimeter-wave band (24.25 GHz to 28.5 GHz) and in the Sub-Gigahertz band (700 GHz). The TSPs will also be allowed to use their existing spectrum owned by them (800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2500 MHz) for conduct of 5G trials.

The duration of the trials, at present, is for a period of 6 months, which includes a time period of 2 months for procurement and setting up of the equipment. The department noted that each eligible TSP will also have to conduct trials in rural and semi-urban settings in addition to urban settings so that the benefit of 5G Technology is not confined to urban areas.

In addition to the already existing 5G technology, the TSPs are encouraged to use the 5Gi technology, which has been approved by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in the past. Developed by IIT Madras, Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT) and IIT Hyderabad, and advocated by India, the 5Gi technology is known to facilitate a much larger reach of the 5G towers and Radio networks.

The objectives of conducting 5G trials include testing 5G spectrum propagation characteristics especially in the Indian context, model tuning and evaluation of chosen equipment and vendors, testing of indigenous technology, testing of applications including telemedicine, tele-education, augmented or virtual reality, drone-based agricultural monitoring, and to test 5G phones and devices.

5G technology is expected to deliver improved user experience in terms of data download rates (expected to be 10 times that of 4G), up to three times greater spectrum efficiency, and ultra-low latency to enable Industry 4.0. The applications of 5G are across a wide range of sectors such as agriculture, education, health, transport, traffic management, smart cities, smart homes, and multiple applications of IoT (Internet of Things).

DoT has asserted that the trials will be isolated and not connected with the existing networks of TSPs. It has also emphasised that the 5G trials will be on a non-commercial basis and the data generated during the trials shall be stored in India. TSPs are also further expected to facilitate the testing of the indigenously developed use cases and equipment as part of the trials. The department notes that a hundred applications or use cases that were selected by DoT after conducting the recent Hackathon on 5G applications can also be facilitated in these trials.



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