Govt permits TSPs to conduct 5G trials; excludes Chinese firms
TSPs such as Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea & MTNLgiven permission to conduct 5G trials
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Tuesday gave permissions to telecom service providers (TSPs) to conduct 5G technology and spectrum trials in the country. India’s leading mobile operators including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India (VI), and MTNL will be proceeding with 5G trials in different locations across the country. The Centre approved more than a dozen tech companies from various countries to participate in its 5G trials.
According to a statement issued by the Telecom Department, these TSPs willconduct the trials in partnership with their original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and technology providers, including Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung and C-DOT. In addition, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. will be conducting 5G trials with its own indigenous technology in India.
However, Chinese equipment manufacturers such as Huawei and ZTE have been left out of the 5G race in the country. With this development, the Uniongovernment appears to be keeping Chinese companies at bay in its efforts toroll out 5G services in India.
“The permissions have been given by DoT as per the priorities and technology partners identified by TSPs themselves. The duration of the trials,at present, is for a period of 6 months. This includes a time period of 2 months for procurement and setting up of the equipment,” the DoT statement noted.
The telecom department has given the experimental spectrum in various bands, including 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 department has also permitted TSPs to use their existing spectrum owned bythem (800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2500 MHz) to conduct the 5G trials.
In the statement, the Ministry of Communications stressed each TSP has been permitted to conduct trials in rural and semi-urban settings to ensure that the “benefit of 5G Technology proliferates across the country.”
“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 and applications (such as telemedicine, tele-education, augmented/virtual reality, drone-based agricultural monitoring) and testing of 5G phones and devices,” the statement added. The Ministry has also encouraged TSPs to conduct trials using 5Gi technologyalong with 5G technology.
This development has come weeks after the Parliamentary Committee of IT pulled up the telecom department for delay in launching 5G trials in the country. In 2019, the government allowed all telecom operators to participate in the 5G trials in India. Significantly, Airtel and Reliance Jio have been leading the way for developing 5G technology in India.
Meanwhile, India’s decision to leave out Chinese firms in its 5G trials follows similar moves by countries like the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. These countries have expressed concerns about employing Huaweiand ZTE in their 5G trials over their ties with the Chinese government.