The 5G network spectrum could be held later this year or early 2022. Ahead of the auctions, Indian telcos have already kicked off conducting 5G network trials. Airtel and Reliance Jio have already started testing 5G network tests in Gurgaon and Mumbai, respectively. Airtel first conducted the test in Gurgaon’s Cyber Hub. The trial site was operating in the 3500 MHz band that was permitted by the DoT. The Sunil Mittal-led telco giant has now successfully conducted another trial – this time in Mumbai. Let’s take a look at more details on the Airtel 5G network test in Mumbai.
Airtel 5G trial in Mumbai
Airtel has conducted 5G network test trials in Mumbai. The company had previously performed testing in Gurgaon’s Cyber Hub. The test was conducted using Nokia’s 5G gear in Mumbai’s Phoenix Mall in Lower Parel. The company used Nokia’s 5G gear. A video shared by the company reveals that it managed to achieve a speed of 1.2Gbps during the 5G test trials. It also managed to achieve an upload speed of close to 850Mbps.
The speeds are higher compared to the test trials conducted in Gurgaon, where the company managed to get 1Gbps download speeds and around 93Mbps upload speeds. At the Gurgaon site, Airtel relied on Ericsson 5G network gear.
Airtel’s rival Reliance Jio has also reportedly conducted 5G test trials in Mumbai. The Mukesh Ambani-led telco is using both mid and mmWave bands for 5G trials in Mumbai. It has developed its own 5G gear to conduct trails. Jio is also reportedly engaging with other 5G gear vendors like Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, to begin 5G trials in other cities. Jio had previously applied for trials in Delhi, Mumbai, Gujarat and Hyderabad.
Like Jio, Airtel too is expected to conduct trials in other cities. 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. The company states that its network is adequately ready to launch commercial 5G services in the country shortly after the availability of an adequate spectrum.
The DoT has also instructed that none of the approved telecom companies will be using equipment from Chinese gear makers like ZTE or Huawei. The government also expects local manufacturers and providers of these technologies to offer support globally. 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.
It was previously reported that PM Narendra Modi could launch 5G network on India’s 75th Independence Day.