incumbent telecom operators are expected to launch 5G trials in June after a
panel at the Telecom Ministry has recommended spectrum for the tests, local
The panel, which deliberated on the amount of necessary spectrum and duration of the 5G trial, has recommended 5G spectrum to Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio initially for a three-month period, which can be increased to one year in case they need more time for network stabilization.
According to the reports, Samsung Electronics, Nokia and Ericsson have received the green light from the government to take part in the 5G trials.
The allocation of the necessary spectrum for the trials will take place in the next 15 days and carriers could start initial 5G runs next month. The panel also confirmed that the network trial licenses will be issued in the coming days.
Reliance Jio is likely to partner with Samsung, Nokia with Airtel and Vodafone-Idea with Ericsson for the 5G trials, according to the reports. The Department of Telecom has not yet said if Chinese vendor Huawei will take place in the upcoming trials.
Following these initial network trials, the Indian government aims to launch a 5G spectrum auction, probably in the second half of the year. Local carriers had previously announced plans to deploy commercial 5G services in India during 2020.
In January, India’s Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said the Indian government
had allowed Chinese vendor Huawei to carry out trials for 5G connectivity.
Sundarajan said that the government would put the
necessary safeguards in place before allowing companies to deploy 5G technology
and access the core networks.
The secretary said that the Department of Telecommunications (allowed the Chinese firm to take part in 5G trials to understand Huawei’s architecture and to what extent it would comply with core telecom networks in the country.
had previously confirmed that it had been invited by the Indian government to conduct 5G trials in the
country, which are scheduled to start this year. The Indian government
initially did not invite Huawei to take part in the 5G trials but then formally
invited Huawei, by request of the company.
Also, Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE has said that it is already working with Indian carriers to provide end-to-end solutions for the future launch of 5G technologies. ZTE said that leading Indian operators have already started 5G tests and verification with its products.
In March 2018, Indian
carrier Bharti Airtel and Huawei had conducted what the companies claimed to be
India’s first 5G network trial achieving a data speed of more than 3 Gbps. The
trial was conducted at Airtel’s network experience center in Gurgaon.
The trial included a 5G radio access network operating
in 3.5 GHz spectrum, with a 5G core and a router able to perform network
slicing, which allows many different virtual network services to be offered
over the same physical infrastructure.