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Airtel, Ericsson jointly conduct India’s first rural 5G trial

Airtel, Ericsson jointly conduct India’s first rural 5G trial

According to Airtel, the 5G trial demonstrated the company’s ability to provide high-speed broadband coverage even in remote areas.

The Airtel trial was aimed at showing how 5G can enable access to high-speed broadband through solutions like enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and Fixed Wireless Access (FWA). The Airtel trial was aimed at showing how 5G can enable access to high-speed broadband through solutions like enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and Fixed Wireless Access (FWA).

Telecom behemoth Bharti Airtel has conducted India’s first 5G trial at a rural location. This trial took place in the Bhaipur Bramanan village located on the outskirts of Delhi/NCR using the 5G spectrum allocated by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). The 5G infrastructure used for this trial was powered by the Swedish telecom major Ericsson’s 3GPP-compliant 5G radio. It also utilised its existing FDD spectrum band along with a 3500MHz band.
 
The Airtel trial was aimed at showing how 5G can enable access to high-speed broadband through solutions like enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and Fixed Wireless Access (FWA). This trial involved a demonstration of over 200 Mbps throughput on 3GPP-compliant 5G FWA device at a distance of more than 10 kms from the site, according to the press release issued by Airtel.
 
The release also mentioned that the trial involved an inter-site coverage of ~20 kms, implying an ability to provide high-speed broadband coverage even in remote areas. During this trial, even a commercially available 3GPP-based 5G smartphone was able to connect to the test network and recorded over 100 Mbps speed at a distance of over 10 km from the site.
 
According to the company, results of the trial demonstrate Airtel’s capacity for 5G over its already existing nationwide 4G network. “Having demonstrated India’s first 5G network and also the first 5G cloud gaming experience, Airtel is proud to have also conducted the nation’s first 5G trial in a rural geography. 5G will be a transformational technology when it comes to delivering broadband coverage to the last mile through use cases like FWA and contribute to a more inclusive digital economy. Airtel will continue to be at the forefront of 5G technology and bring more India-relevant use cases through partnerships such as the one with Ericsson,” Bharti Airtel CTO Randeep Singh Sekhon said in a statement.
 
Ericsson South East Asia, Oceania and India head Nunzio Mirtillo argued that this trial will enable faster 5G rollout and help India realise its ‘Digital India’ vision. Mirtillo also cited an Ericsson study which states that on an average, a 10 per cent increase in the mobile broadband adoption ratio translates to a 0.8 per cent increase in GDP.
 
Edited by Mehak Agarwal

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