5G Technology & Spectrum Trials set to begin in India, gets approval from Telecom department


New Delhi: The Department of Telecommunication has given approval for 5G technology and spectrum trials to telecom service providers (TSPs) on May 4.

The telecom companies including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm, Vodafone Idea and MTNL will be allotted 5G spectrum for trials in different locations across India which will cover rural, semi-urban and urban areas.  According to the ministry, these telecom service providers have tied up for trials with original equipment manufacturers and technology providers which includes companies like, Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DOT. Reliance Jio, on the other hand, has already stated that they will be developing a homegrown and indigenous 5G network. Jio’s initiative for a 5G network developed in India aligns with the government’s vision of Made in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat.

For conducting 5G trials, telecom operators have been given permissions by the DoT as per the priorities and technology partners they have identified for themselves. The experimental spectrum is being given in various bands including mid-band (3.2 GHz to 3.67 GHz), millimetre wave band (24.25 GHz to 28.5 GHz), and in the sub-Gigahertz band (700Ghz).

To conduct 5G trials, the Telecom Service Providers also got the go-ahead for using their existing spectrum, that is, 800MHz, 900MHz, 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2500MHz.

Six months is the duration of the 5G trials which includes a time period of two months for procuring and setting up of the equipment for the trials.

5G or 5th generation is a new global wireless standard technology that is designed to deliver higher browsing speed, ultra-low latency, massive network capacity, increased availability, and a greater uniform user experience along with high efficiency in connecting everyone with everything.

5Gi technology, which promises to facilitate a much larger reach of the 5G towers and radio networks, has been approved to be used by the International Telecommunications Union. The 5Gi technology has been developed by IIT Madras, IIT Hyderabad in collaboration with the Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT).

According to the central government, there are various objectives of conducting the 5G trials. The most essential objective is to understand the spectrum propagation characteristics, especially in the Indian context along with evaluating and tuning the chosen equipment according to the needs. Testing of indigenous technology will also take place along with testing of various applications including tele-education, augmented or virtual reality, drone-based agriculture monitoring etc. The DoT has emphasised the trials to be on a non-commercial basis and hence, the data generated during the trials will be stored in India.

The 5G ecosystem has been emerging in India for a while now. Indian government aligning with the vision of the Make in India campaign is pushing to make India a global manufacturing hub. There are various sectors that will get a boost with the emerging 5G technology including smart cities, virtual banking, higher resolution of streaming, augmented reality, Internet of Things (IoT), Big data analytics and Artificial Intelligence. India is now a step closer to achieving 5G mobile networks in the country.


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