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Govt approves 5G trials; to be conducted in urban, semi-urban, rural areas

BusinessToday.In     May 4, 2021

The Telecom Department on Tuesday gave permission to telecom service providers (TSPs) to conduct trials for use and application of 5G technology.

"The applicant TSPs include Bharti Airtel Ltd, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, Vodafone Idea Ltd and MTNL.  These TSPs have tied up with original equipment manufacturers and technology providers which are Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DOT," Ministry of Communications said in a release, adding that Reliance Jio will also conduct trials using its own indigenous technology.

The Telecom Department has granted the permissions 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), millimetre wave band (24.25 GHz to 28.5 GHz) and in Sub-Gigahertz band (700 GHz). "

The telecom companies will also be permitted to use the 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 six months. This includes a time period of two months for procurement and setting up of equipment.

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"The permission letters specify that each TSP will have to conduct trials in rural and semi-urban settings also in addition to urban settings so that the benefit of 5G technology proliferates across the country and is not confined only to urban areas," it said.

The service providers would be encouraged to conduct the trials using 5Gi technology, developed by IIT Madras, Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT) and IIT Hyderabad, in addition to the already known 5G technology, the ministry said. The 5Gi technology, advocated by India as it facilitates much larger reach of 5G towers and radio networks, has also been approved by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).

The objective behind the trials is to test 5G spectrum propagation characteristics, especially in the Indian context; model tune and evaluate chosen equipment and vendors; test indigenous technology; test applications such as tele-medicine, tele-education, augmented/virtual reality, drone-based agricultural monitoring, among others, and to test 5G phones and devices.

The ministry has also asked for storing the data generated during the trials in India. "The TSPs are also expected to facilitate the testing of the indigenously developed use cases and equipment as part of the trials. 100 applications/use cases selected by DoT after conducting the recent Hackathon on 5G applications can also be facilitated in these trials," it said.

5G technology is expected to deliver improved user experience in terms of data download rates, up to three times greater spectrum efficiency, and ultra low latency to enable Industry 4.0.

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