Home / Industry / Telecom /  Centre okays application of Jio, Airtel, Vi and MTNL for 5G trials; excludes Chinese vendors

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Tuesday granted permissions to a slew of Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) for conducting trials for use and applications of 5G technology.

The applicant TSPs include Bharti Airtel Ltd., Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd., Vodafone Idea Ltd., and MTNL. The aforementioned telcos have tied up with original equipment manufacturers and technology providers which are Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, and C-DOT. In addition, Reliance Jio will also be conducting trials using its indigenous technology. This means that Chinese gear makers will not be part of the 5G trials.

The DoT has permitted 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), millimeter wave band (24.25 GHz to 28.5 GHz), and in Sub-Gigahertz band (700 GHz).

The Telecom Service Providers will also be permitted to use their existing spectrum owned by them (800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2500 MHz) for conduct of 5G trials. At present, the duration of the trials is for six months, including a period of two months for procurement and setting up of the equipment.

The Centre said that the telcos will be encouraged to conduct trials using 5Gi technology in addition to the already known 5G Technology. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has also approved the 5Gi technology, which facilitates a much larger reach of the 5G towers and Radio networks. The IIT Madras, Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT), and IIT Hyderabad have developed the 5Gi technology.

According to the central government, the objectives of conducting 5G trials include: "Testing 5G spectrum propagation characteristics especially in the Indian context; model tuning and evaluation of chosen equipment and vendors; testing of indigenous technology; testing of applications (such as telemedicine, tele-education, augmented/ virtual reality, drone-based agricultural monitoring, etc.); and to test 5G phones and devices".

"The 5G technology is expected to deliver improved user experience in terms of data download rates (expected to be 10 times that of 4G), up to three times greater spectrum efficiency, and ultra-low latency to enable Industry 4.0," the Centre added.

DoT has specified that the trials will be isolated and not connected with the existing networks of the telcos. It added that trials will be on a non-commercial basis. The data generated during the trials will be stored in India.

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