Ericsson and an arm of US-based Qualcomm on Tuesday completed the first-ever live 5G video call in India using 28 GHz spectrum. The call was made at the ongoing India Mobile Congress 2019. The achievement is a significant milestone in the country as India gets ready for 5G.
Ericsson is a Swedish telecom equipment manufacturer, while Qualcomm is the name behind chips that power most of the smartphones in the world.
Both companies demonstrated India’s first 4K video streaming, video calling and 5G cloud-based gaming using the 5G commercial system in both sub-6 GHz and mmWave using 5G commercial devices, set up by Ericsson at its booth.
MillimeterWave (mmWave) 5G networks are commercial in North America and are being rolled out in many advanced countries including Japan and Korea, where 28 GHz and 39 GHz spectrum bands are being considered for 5G deployments. For mobile networks, mmWave spectrum will be an important capacity layer for both 4G and 5G.
The two companies have been working closely on 5G technology for many years.
India plans to auction 5G airwaves next year even as telecom operators are in no hurry to grab the frequencies because of their stretched balance sheets. Bharti Airtel, India’s third largest mobile services provider by number of subscribers, had a net debt of Rs1.16 trillion at the end of June.
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, speaking at the IMC Monday, said the government would hold the auction for 5G frequencies this financial year (April-March). The department of telecommunications is now exploring lowering base prices for the spectrum auction to make them affordable for companies to bid.