Telecom Department gives go-ahead for 5G Technology and Spectrum Trials
New Delhi, May 5, 2021
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) on Tuesday approved granting permissions to Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) for conducting trials for use and applications of 5G technology.
The applicant TSPs include Bharti Airtel Ltd., Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., Vodafone Idea Ltd. and MTNL.
These TSPs have tied up with original equipment manufacturers and technology providers Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DOT. Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd. will also be conducting trials using its indigenous technology.
An official press release said the permissions have been given by DoT 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), the millimetre-wave band (24.25 GHz to 28.5 GHz) and in Sub-Gigahertz band (700 GHz).
TSPs will also be permitted to use their existing spectrum owned by them (800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2500 MHz) for the conduct of 5G trials.
The duration of the trials, at present, is for six months. This includes two months for procurement and setting up of the equipment.
The permission letters specify that each TSP will have to conduct trials in rural and semi-urban settings also in addition to urban settings so that the benefit of 5G Technology proliferates across the country, the release said.
"The TSPs are 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 was advocated by India, as it facilitates a much larger reach of the 5G towers and Radio networks. The 5Gi technology has been developed by IIT Madras, Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT) and IIT Hyderabad.
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, education, augmented/ virtual reality, drone-based agricultural monitoring, etc.) and to test 5G phones and devices.
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.
Applications are across a wide range of sectors such as agriculture, education, health, transport, traffic management, smart cities, smart homes, and multiple applications of IoT (Internet of Things).
DoT has specified that the trials will be isolated and not connected with the existing networks of TSPs. Trials will be on a non-commercial basis. The data generated during the trials shall be stored in India.
TSPs are also expected to facilitate the testing of the indigenously developed use cases and equipment as part of the trials. One hundred applications/ use cases selected by DoT after conducting the recent Hackathon on 5G applications can also be facilitated in these trials, the release added.