The Department of Telecommunications on Tuesday permitted Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to conduct 5G technology trials.
Interestingly, none of the Chinese vendors — Huawei or ZTR — has been given the approval to conduct the tests. The duration of the trials is set at six months, with two months for procurement and setting up of equipment.
A DoT statement said: “The applicant TSPs include Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Vodafone Idea and MTNL. These TSPs have tied up with original equipment manufacturers and technology providers which are Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DOT. In addition, Reliance Jio Infocomm will also be conducting trials using its own indigenous technology.”
The DoT has given permission for technology partners identified by TSPs themselves. The experiments will cover various bands, including the mid-band (3.2 GHz to 3.67 GHz), millimeter wave band (24.25 GHz to 28.5 GHz) and sub-Gigahertz band (700 GHz). “The TSPs will also be permitted to use the spectrum hey own (800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1,800 MHz and 2,500 MHz) for the 5G trials,” it said.
The DoT has also specifically asked each TSP to conduct trials in rural and semi-urban settings besides urban areas so that the benefit of 5G technology proliferates across the country.
“The TSPs are encouraged to conduct trials using 5Gi technology in addition to the already known 5G Technology. It will be recalled that the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has also approved the 5Gi technology, which was advocated by India, as it facilitates 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 and IIT-Hyderabad,” the DoT said.
The objectives of conducting the trials include testing the 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 tele-medicine, tele-education, augmented/virtual reality, and drone-based agricultural monitoring); and testing 5G phones and devices, the DoT said. The trials will be on non-commercial basis and the data generated during the trials shall be stored in India.