5G in India to be launched in 2023; air traffic safety a concern; 5G for agricultural monitoring to be very useful
Telecom Service Providers, informed India’s Minister of State for Communications Devusinh Chauhan on Wednesday that 5G mobile services are likely to be launched during the second half of the year 2022-23. The minister, in a written reply to Lok Sabha, also denied any impact of the 5G wave on airlines’ communication system. “The frequency band opened for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT), including 5G Technology, in India has enough guard bands to ensure that there is no aeronautical interference. Therefore, the question of conducting study does not arise,” informed the minister.
In January, the 6,000-pilotstrong Federation of Indian Pilots wrote to Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya M. Scindia and requested him to ask the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI ) work in tandem to develop a plan that enables the safe and efficient implementation of fifth generation (5G) mobile communications networks in the C-band. On the infrastructure required for 5G, Devusinh Chauhan said the infrastructure required for rolling out 5G services in the country is to be developed by the TSPs based on requirements and their business plan. The proposed 5G spectrum auction in the country is likely to be held before the month of August. At present, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India is expected to come out with its recommendations for the upcoming 5G auction by the end of this month. Once the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India submits its report, the department of telecommunications (DoT) will commence the process to auction the airwaves.
Separately, Dr P D Vaghela, Chairman of TRAI said that Hyderabad States will attract more investments and generate employment with a robust telecom infrastructure, which will lead to an enhanced economy.
“For the implementation of industrial automation (industry 4.0), precision agriculture, smart education, automation in healthcare, and many areas, the State governments must strive to have the best and latest telecom technology in their State such as 5G, IoT, AI, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, etc.,” he said. Addressing the Administrative Staff College of India’s (ASCI) online public lecture titled ‘5G: A Next-Generation Technology’, on Wednesday, he spoke on introduction to 5G and key performance indicators, use cases of 5G, role of State governments, the growth of telecom in India, and government initiatives in the broadband and telecom reforms.
In agriculture, he said that 5G was going to be helpful for monitoring along with sensor networks, precision farming, smart irrigation, climate change mitigation, livestock monitoring, and agricultural drones. Apart from being beneficial in smart mining through real-time condition monitoring, he said that in the field of online education and learning which requires high-speed data connectivity, 5G technology is capable of providing the requisite bandwidth for students and institutions. It also augments video surveillance and analytics, solid waste management, and intelligent parking in smart cities, and that the technology would create an immersive experience in video streaming, gaming and sports domain, where user/machine-generated content from smart devices could help users to share data in real time, which is likely to improve the user experience. Vaghela spoke about satellite- based communication being implemented in North- Eastern States and how it was helpful in far-flung hilly and rural areas. Observing that BharatNet project could change the scenario, he said that the last six years had seen a revolutionary change in rural areas in terms of growth of telecom and digital services.
The New Indian Express newspaper
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India’s telecom services providers have via the industry body COAI expressed disappointment with TRAI’s recommendations for auction of 5G spectrum bands.
In a strongly worded reaction, COAI called the recommendation a “step backwards” than forward towards building a digitally connected India.
COAI maintained that the spectrum pricing recommended by TRAI was too high, and noted that throughout the consultation process, the industry had presented extensive arguments based on global research and benchmarks, for significant reduction in spectrum prices. “Industry recommended 90% lower price, and to see only about 35-40% reduction recommended in prices, therefore is deeply disappointing,” it said.
It added that charging a 1.5x price for spectrum for a 30-year period will nullify the relief provided by the Union Cabinet in 2021. The industry body pointed out that by introducing mandatory rollout obligations for 5G networks without factoring the huge cost of such a rollout, TRAI has “delinked itself from reality and is running counter to the Government’s efforts of enhancing ease of doing business”.
On allowing private captive networks for enterprises, COAI argued that TRAI was dramatically altering the industry dynamics and hurting the financial health of the industry rather than improving it. Private networks would be a disincentive for the telecom industry to invest in networks and continue paying high levies and taxes, it contended.
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