The Indian government is of the opinion that the telecom operators in the country should go ahead with the 5Gi standard developed by the TSDSI. However, the telcos have vocally opposed the opinion of the government in the past. This is because the 5Gi standard would add to the cost of the network deployment and will also slow down network rollout times. Further, Indians might also see increased prices of smartphones as they will have to be manufactured in a different manner by the phone makers to support 5Gi.
According to an ET Telecom report, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has made a committee that will be seeking inputs from the ecosystem stakeholders, telecom operators, and others about 5Gi by March 2022. Note that the DoT will keep taking inputs for the next two years and won’t stop by March 2022.
Indian Government Wants to Understand the Current 5G Devices Available in the Market
The government wants to understand the kind of 5G devices that are available in the market. Further, the DoT will also plan on how the development of 5G-based applications and 5G ecosystem can take place in India.
The telcos are already testing 5G networks in different parts of the country. For the most part, the telcos have kept mum about whether they are using the 3GPP standard equipment or the 5Gi standard equipment. However, Bharti Airtel recently conducted a 5G test in a rural region of the country where the telco had used 3GPP compliant 5G FWA devices.
It might be possible that the government instructs the telecom operators to go ahead with the 5Gi standard in India. That would not be great for the smartphone prices and would certainly lock India out of the global ecosystem. Regardless, it is something that the telcos and the consumers will have to prepare for. Telcos want to go ahead with the 3GPP compliant 5G networks, and they have made that much clear.