Airtel is conducting a test trial for its 5G network in Mumbai's Lower Parel area. The telecom giant is using Nokia's 5G equipment to conduct 5G trials in Mumbai's Phoenix Mall. A video of a speed test taken during Airtel's 5G network trial shows the telco was able to achieve a download speed of 1.2 gbps with ultra-low latency. Airtel was also able to achieve an upload speed close to 850 mbps.
During its Mumbai trial, Airtel surpassed its download speed of 1 gbps that was previously achieved during a similar 5G network trial in Gurgaon's Cyber Hub area. Airtel also plans to conduct a 5G network trial in Kolkata soon, The Economic Times reported.
Earlier in January, Airtel became the first firm in India to successfully demonstrate live 5G service over a commercial network. The firm did so in Hyderabad city in the 1800 MHz band via the NSA (Non-Stand Alone) network technology.
The Department of Telecommunication (DoT) had earlier allotted spectrum to Airtel in four major Indian telecom circles. These were -- Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, and Delhi. Airtel has been allotted 5G trial spectrum in 3,500 MHz, 28 GHz and 700 MHz bands, as per the report.
Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea (Vi) have been allotted 5G trail spectrums in 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands.
The DoT has granted permission to Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to test the use and application of 5G network in India. The TSPs such as Airtel have partnered with original equipment manufacturers and technology providers for conducting 5G network trials. The equipment manufacturers include Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DOT.
At present, the duration of the 5G network trials is for a period of 6 months. This includes a time period of 2 months for procurement and setting up of the equipment.
Jio had conducted 5G trials in Mumbai during June. It is using equipment developed indigenously. Jio is also in talks with equipment providers Nokia, Samsung and Ericsson for conducting trials in other cities as well. It has applied for running 5G network trials in Delhi, Hyderabad and Gujarat.
Even as telcos are conducting trials, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is yet to hold the auction for the 5G spectrum in India. Earlier, the Standing Committee on Information Technology was told the 5G network will roll out in the country to some extent, for specific uses, by the end of 2021 or the beginning of 2022.
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