The wireless planning & coordination (WPC) wing of the Department of Telecom (DoT) has allocated spectrum to Bharti Airtel, Voda Idea and Reliance Jio to start 5G trials in the country. Each has been allotted 10 units in 700 MHz, 100 units in 3.5 GHz and 800 units in 26 GHz bands.
On May 4, DoT had approved applications from Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and MTNL for conducting 5G trials without using technologies from Chinese companies. DoT had approved trials of 5G with Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DoT. In addition, Reliance Jio Infocomm will be conducting trials using its own indigenous technology. Although no decision has yet been taken for the Chinese network vendors, Huawei and ZTE, it is expected that the decision will be announced on June 15 on this.
During the trials, application of 5G in Indian settings will get tested. This includes tele-medicine, tele-education and drone-based agriculture monitoring etc. Telecom operators will be able to test various 5G devices on their network.
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.
Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Gujarat, and Hyderabad have been decided as locations for trials. None of the telecom operators has been allocated spectrum in Punjab, Haryana and union territory of Chandigarh. The permission letters specify that each telecom service provider will have to conduct trials in rural and semi-urban settings in addition to urban settings so that the benefit of the 5G technology proliferates across the country and is not confined only to urban areas. CT Bureau