The Department of Telecom (DoT) has allocated spectrum to telecom operators to start 5G trials in the country, sources said. The trials will be conducted at various locations including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Gujarat, Hyderabad, among others, according to industry sources. “Telecom operators have been allocated spectrum in 700 Mhz band, 3.3-3.6 gigahertz (Ghz) band and 24.25-28.5 Ghz band across various locations,” a telecom company official said.
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. According to DoT, 5G technology is expected to deliver ten times better download speed than that of 4G and up to three times greater spectrum efficiency. 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. 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. Industry sources, however, said none of of the telecom operators has been allocated spectrum in Punjab, Haryana and union territory of Chandigarh.