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MTNL to carry out 5G trials in Delhi as DoT allocates trial spectrum to govt telco

The DoT has allocated government telco MTNL 5G trial spectrum. MTNL will carry out 5G trials in the Najafgarh area of Delhi.

Story highlights
  • Last month, the DoT gave a go-ahead to telcos to carry out 5G trials in India.
  • It has now allocated 5G trial spectrum to government-owned MTNL.
  • Airtel and Jio have started carrying out 5G trials in India.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) has allocated 5G trial spectrum to government-owned telco Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Limited (MTNL) for 5G trials in the Najafgarh area of Delhi. The development comes a month after the DoT gave a go-ahead to telcos to carry out 5G trials in India. "(The) DoT has allocated spectrum to MTNL for 5G trials in Delhi. It will conduct trials in partnership with C-DoT," an official source told news agency PTI.


The applicant telecom service providers (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.

Airtel carried out trials in 5G network in Gurgaon's Cyber Hub area. The telco worked in the middle band spectrum of 3500 Mhz. The 5G network of Bharti Airtel was able to deliver a throughput of over 1 Gbps speed, according to reports. Airtel is also working on trials trials in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Bengaluru. Jio has begun 5G trials in Mumbai using its indigenously developed equipment. The telecom giant is said to be in talks with Nokia, Samsung and Ericsson for trials it will carry out in other cities. Jio has applied for 5G trials in Delhi, Hyderabad and Gujarat. Jio worked with both mid and mm wave bands in Mumbai for 5G field trials. Jio will soon begin trials in other cities.

The experimental spectrum is being given in various bands which include the mid-band (3.2 GHz to 3.67 GHz), the 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 DoT noted that the trials will be isolated, non-commercial, and not connected with the existing networks of TSPs. 5G will be only available for commercial purposes after the spectrum auction is for 5G.

According to the DoT, 5G technology is expected to deliver 10 times better download speed than that of 4G and up to three times greater spectrum efficiency. 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.