Indian telcos propose year-long 5G field trials which begin this June!

India’s major mobile operators have both submitted proposals to conduct year-long field trials of 5G services.  Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio Infocomm – along with technology partners including Cisco, Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia – have submitted detailed proposals to the Department of Telecom, the Economic Times reported.

The Indian mobile network operators are now awaiting approvals, and it is expected to take an additional initial three months to complete preparations and clearances, the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) told the publication. COAI is the industry body that represents Vodafone Idea, Airtel and Jio.

 

Telcos, vendors seek government nod for a year-long spectrum for 5G field trials

 

But the Department of Telecom has previously expressed a reluctance to allocate airwaves for 5G trials beyond a 90 day window, which the industry believes would be way too short of a time to conduct the required trials.  The India government has not taken any decision yet on the duration, a contentious issue for airwaves allocation.

According to COAI, the industry is expected to finally reach an agreement with the DoT on the duration of the proposed allocations, as well as other issues.  The Telecommunications Regulator of India has recommended the 3.5-GHz frequency range be used for 5G, and aims to complete an initial 5G auction early next year.

The much-awaited network trial for 5G services in India is scheduled to start this June, with a Telecom Ministry panel recommending spectrum for the test run to the incumbent telcos for a three-month period.  The panel which deliberated on the quantum and duration of the spectrum trial has recommended 5G spectrum to Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio initially for three months, which can be scaled up to one year in case they need more time for network stabilisation.

The three equipment vendors who have got the green signal from the panel are Samsung, Nokia and Ericsson, sources said.

The allocation will take place in the next 15 days and telcos could start intial 5G run in June itself. The network trial licenses will be issued in a few days’ time.

References:

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/telcos-vendors-seek-government-nod-for-a-year-long-spectrum-for-5g-field-trials/69231635

https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/5g-spectrum-trial-begins-next-month-for-3-months/69223222

 

3 thoughts on “Indian telcos propose year-long 5G field trials which begin this June!

  1. Indian mobile carriers are apparently finding it hard to come out with relevant use cases for the fifth-generation or 5G technology making the government-backed commercial rollout gloomy as envisaged for 2020.

    “5G is not a mass technology, at least immediately. The next generation of technology is more inclined towards business customers which are shying away from it, making telco’s potential business opportunity in limbo,” a top executive of the country’s leading telco said.

    Since 2016, the Narendra Modi-led government has shown much enthusiasm and is not leaving any stone unturned with empowering the AJ Paulraj-headed 5G high-level forum and sub-committees for a healthy dialogue between the industry and government, as well as identifying the bottlenecks for a robust 5G roadmap.

    https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/indian-telcos-grapple-with-5g-use-cases/70380348

  2. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is planning to auction about 8,644 MHz of telecom frequencies, including the 3.3-3.6GHz band identified for 5G services, at an estimated total base price of Rs 4.9 lakh crore, which, the COAI members such as Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio, believe is too costly an affair.

    The upcoming 5G networks — expected to be around 20 times faster than 4G ones — are considered vital for emerging technologies like self-driving cars, cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

    Just one megahertz of 5G spectrum has been proposed with a base price of Rs 492 crore, which according to the industry body, is 6-7 times more than the current 5G airwaves available in other countries. Companies have to bid for blocks of at least 20 units, so securing pan-India 5G spectrum will cost a company at least $1.42 billion at base price levels.

    On the sidelines of the ‘Security Symposium and Awards 2019’ hosted by Infosec Foundation, Rajan said: “Around 10% Indian smartphone owners use antivirus or malware protector in their mobile phones. Our personal data is absolutely vulnerable to be used by third parties with the help of cookies. We do not read terms and conditions while downloading a mobile app and simply agree to it without knowing what all we are divulging.”

    Telecom experts have also warned about the risks involved in the ever-growing data usage in the cyber space, which has no boundaries. According to them, the prevalence of social media usage and the ability to interact anonymously are two of the biggest reasons why cybercrimes on social networking sites have gone wild.

    “The increasing propensity to experiment with various social apps sometimes prompts people upload photo with the intention of having fun. This has been the reason behind the popularity of ‘FaceApp’ and Stulish,” said Sushobhan Mukherjee, Chairman, Infosec Foundation.

    https://telecom.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/telcos-no-to-5g-bidding-as-trai-says-no-dot-plea-on-price-cut/70507934

  3. Vodafone Idea CEO: We must nail 4G if we want to do 5G right in India

    Vodfone Idea has recently deployed Massive MIMO technology across its 4G networks, in order to pave the way for the transition to 5G in 2020
    Vodafone Idea will continue to develop and invest in its existing 4G networks, as it paves the way for the move towards 5G next year, according to the company’s CEO.

    Speaking at the ET Telecom 5G Congress in New Delhi last week, Sharma said that it was crucially important to ensure that the country’s 4G networks were on the cutting edge of innovation, to ease the transition into 5G.

    “5G is the opportunity of a lifetime. It is the culmination of everything we have been working towards over the last few years. It’s about making the connectivity revolution happen.

    “5G in India, as with everywhere else in the world, is going to launch on a non-stand-alone basis, which means it will be built on top of our existing 4G framework. This is an absolute imperative to get the 4G story right. It means we have to spread the 4G networks right across the country and make sure that they are robust enough to deal with enormous volumes of traffic,” he said.

    Sharma said that the biggest issue in evolving from 4G to 5G connectivity would be the backhaul. Sharma claims that right now, there is insufficient quantities of fibre available to operators, meaning that backhaul could end up being a throttling point for 5G network speeds. Indeed, it is already having an effect on the country’s 4G networks.

    “The 5G capabilities are being introduced to our networks right now. It will not just be a case of flicking a switch and going from 4G to 5G.

    “For example, Massive MIMO. I just tested the speed on our network using the Ookla speed test. We are clocking speeds of 39.8Mbps on our 4G network right now, which is pretty good. That’s because we have already deployed Massive MIMO technology on our network. Massive MIMO is a 5G technology but we have already deployed over 5,000 Massive MIMO sites across the country. That is the second biggest deployment of that technology in the world. It’s already here.

    So, why are the speeds stuck at 39Mbps and not going on to 100 or 200Mbps? Its not a spectrum issue, its not a radio issue, it’s a backhaul issue. We have to have fibre everywhere as far as I’m concerned. We could even make it a shared fibre network, to ensure that everyone has access to that essential fibre that will power their 5G backhaul. Either that, or we need a massive release of microwave spectrum in the E-band for mobile backhaul. If you give me either of those things, we could see speeds of 100Mbps+ on our exiting 4G networks today,” he said.

    https://www.totaltele.com/503557/Vodafone-Idea-CEO-We-must-nail-4G-if-we-want-to-do-5G-right

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