5G has become the talk of the town. While 5G is still quite far away from being rolled out in India, the government and the operators have started planning and investing on it quite heavily. After 4G, the next big thing in the Indian telecom industry will be ‘Made in India’ 5G network. Both Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have said that they will rollout homegrown 5G. Airtel has even demonstrated the power of its 5G using the 1800 MHz band in Hyderabad. The IT Minister of India, Ravi Shankar Prasad said yesterday that the 5G core should come from Indian suppliers — more details on the story ahead.
5G Trials to Take Place in India Soon
According to an Economic Times report, Ravi Shankar Prasad, speaking at the National Informatics Center Services Incorporated (NICSI) event yesterday said that India is ready for conducting 5G trials soon. The government has already built a 5G test-bed, and the trials should start soon. Then he said that the telcos should build the core of the 5G network with the help of Indian suppliers and manufacturers.
The core of the network will be crucial for the privacy and safety of the country. The Indian government is still finalising the list for which companies can supply network gear for 5G development in India. ZTE and Huawei might still have a chance to be on the list, but they would be restricted from supplying the network’s core equipment. This is because of the ongoing tussle with China and privacy concerns that other nations have raised against the two Chinese companies.
Airtel has already proved that it can provide homegrown 5G services. But the airwaves that the telco currently has are not enough. It still requires airwaves in the 3300-3600 MHz frequency band to provide seamless 5G services throughout the country.
Prasad has said that while India lagged with 2G, 3G, and 4G, that should not be the case with 5G. He said India should focus on developing homegrown 5G and then roll it out as fast as possible to lead the space and also become a supplier of the next-generation technology for other countries.
While the 4G auctions are scheduled from March 1, 2021, the exact dates or timeline for the 5G airwaves auction are not clear. Prasad said that 5G would change the nation’s course since it is a disruptive technology if India is able to lead from the front. He further said that for India to become a big data economy, 5G will be crucial.