Reliance Jio has confirmed, they are developing a homegrown indigenous 5G network. While Bharti Airtel confirmed a successful 5G test over the commercial network.
India is now one step closer to having 5G mobile networks in the country.
The Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications of the Government of India has said that 5G trials are approved. Telecom companies will be allotted the 5G spectrum for the trials, within the week. With Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vi could be in line to get the 5G spectrum for network trials across India. However, we have no clarity on the duration of the trials. The authorities have also confirmed to CNBC-TV18 that Chinese vendors will be kept out of the trials. Telecom equipment companies including Huawei are not to part take in these 5G trials. This announcement comes at a time when India has some catching up to do on the 5G rollout.
There had been some movement over the past few months on 5G in India. Although, there was a waiting period, for the official confirmation and allocation of spectrum for the 5G trials.
Reliance Jio is also working on making its own Massive-MIMO and 5G Small Cell equipment for commercial deployment. Jio’s push for a 5G network, that is completely developed in India, is part of the government’s plan for Made in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat. In January, Bharti Airtel had confirmed a successful 5G test over the commercial network in Hyderabad. Stating that their network is 5G ready and simply needs regulatory approvals to enable the software update and essentially flip the switch.
We are yet to see which brands will be deployed for the 5G mobile network tests in India, and how soon they will be rolling it out, commercially for consumers. It is expected that the 5G networks in India will cover 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz as well as the 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands, though this may vary between telecom service providers.
Most phone launches over the past 12 months have talked about 5G connectivity as an important feature on the spec sheet. Affordable Android phones now are 5G ready and that’s expected to help 5G uptake among consumers once services are available for users to sign up for.
The Indian government, with its Make in India campaign, is pushing to make India a global manufacturing hub. “5G in India is expected to provide the network to keep these factories connected real-time with suppliers and customers, thereby making them smarter and much more efficient – the factories of the future,” Deloitte had said in its 5G: The Catalyst to Digital Revolution in India report, last year. It is expected that remote medicine, smart cities, virtual banking, more 4K and 8K content streaming subscriptions, Augmented Reality (AR), IoT, Big data analytics and Artificial Intelligence will all get a boost with 5G. According to network testing provider VIAVI’s data from last year, 5G networks were available in 378 cities across 34 countries, and India will soon join that list.