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TRAI directs cellular authority to assess 5Gi standard as Airtel and Jio disagree over homegrown network

The 5Gi network is developed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and telecom giants Airtel and Jio are at odds over it. DoT has given a go-ahead to telecom service providers to undertake 5G trials in India.

twitter-logoIndia Today Tech | May 11, 2021 | Updated 15:19 IST

Highlights

  • Airtel and Jio are at odds over the 5G standard 5Gi network citing the costs of the network.
  • While Airtel has noted that the 5Gi network will increase costs, Jio has noted that it will support anything indigenous.
  • DoT has encouraged the telecom service providers (TSP)s to use the 5Gi technology, in the ongoing 5G trials.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has directed the Cellular Operations Authority of India (COAI) to assess the homegrown 5G standard or 5Gi and to lay out its pros and cons. The COAI has also been directed to assess the acceptability of the Indian standard by telcos as well as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), according to an online report.

The 5Gi network is developed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and telecom giants Airtel and Jio are at odds over it. Airtel has opposed the 5Gi network arguing that the homegrown 5G standard will increase the costs of network and mobile devices, and will seriously impact the interoperability between networks based on two different network technologies, Business Standard reported. Airtel is pushing for the global standard of 3GPP to be implemented for the 5G network. Jio noted that it will not compromise on quality and increase costs and noted that it supports any indigenous technology. Jio will also be conducting 5G trials using its own indigenous technology.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) earlier this month gave a go-ahead to telecom companies to undertake 5G trials in India. DoT has encouraged the telecom service providers (TSP)s to use the 5Gi technology, in the ongoing 5G trials. The 5Gi technology has been approved by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in the past. The DoT noted that the 5Gi technology is known to facilitate a much larger reach of the 5G towers and radio networks. The 5Gi is said to be capable of providing broadband connectivity in rural areas using ultra-long-range cell sites.

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. DoT 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.


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