5G network trials have kicked off in India. Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have begun testing their 5G networks in Mumbai and Gurgaon, respectively. Other companies like Vodafone-Idea and state-owned MTNL are expected to begin testing the next-generation network very soon. That being said, there is no word on the spectrum auctions. Reports in the past suggested that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has pushed the spectrum auctions to next year. While we wait for an official word on the same, a new report claims that the faster cellular network will roll out commercially next year.
India to get 5G network on August 15, 2022?
Indians are expected to get 5G network connectivity next year. According to a new report, PM Narendra Modi could launch 5G network on India’s 75th Independence Day. The BusinessLine report, citing a government official, said that the 5G network would start around August next year and PM Modi could launch it on August 15.
“The major surprise of the launch will be that you will find a lot of Indian technology – be it in hardware or software – in it. As you are aware, India is very strong in software, so many technologies will be dependent on our local software companies. They will be the backbone, the official further added.
Reliance Jio has developed its own gear to conduct trails. It is also reportedly engaging with other 5G gear vendors like Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, to begin trials in other cities. Airtel, on the other hand, tested the network in Gurgaon’s Cyber Hub using Ericsson’s network gear. 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.
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. The BusinessLine report states that the DoT could conduct 5G auctions later this year.
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