5G network trials have kicked off in India. The likes of Airtel and Reliance Jio are taking charge and conducting 5G network tests across major cities in India. Telecom operators plan to roll out 5G network services in India soon after the 5G spectrum auctions that are expected to be hosted later this year or early next year. Meanwhile, Airtel has reportedly written to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to formulate guidelines for mandating that new 5G smartphones should support all bands that are available in the country.
The Sunil Mittal-led telco further highlighted that new 5G devices should support dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) while dual-SIM handsets should have 2G, 3G, and 4G support on both slots, according to an Economic Times report. The telco also noted that 50% of smartphone users in India change or upgrade their handsets after two years of usage, and any further delay in creating a supportive device ecosystem would hamper India’s 5G leadership ambitions.
Currently, a majority of 5G phones in India support the 3.5GHz band, whereas 5G services can be provided using multiple existing frequency bands and a new radio interface. “The provision of 5G services in such existing multiple spectrum bands can only happen with the availability of handsets if the minimum features to support 5G services are ensured,” Airtel said.
Telcos have been allotted 5G trial spectrums in the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands. Both Airtel and Jio have previously stated that their networks are 5G ready and awaiting for adequate spectrum from the DoT.
Airtel recently conducted 5G network trials in Mumbai’s Phoenix Mall in Lower Parel. Prior to this, it had previously performed testing in Gurgaon’s Cyber Hub. Airtel and Nokia plan to soon begin 5G trials in Kolkata. The Sunil Mittal-led company recently said that it will pilot and deploy Tata’s OpenRAN tech as part of its 5G rollout plans in India. Earlier this year, Airtel became the first telco in India to test 5G over a live network in Hyderabad using liberalised spectrum in the 1800 MHz band.
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