Bharti Airtel, India’s second-largest telecom operator, is gearing up for mmWave 5G trials. Randeep Sekhon, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Bharti Airtel, said that mmWave bands would be included in the telco’s next round of 5G trials. For the unaware, the mmWave 5G bands will be able to deliver the fastest 5G speeds to the users. The sub-6 GHz bands are good for coverage, but they can’t offer the fastest speeds. But the mmWave bands will change the game and allow the world to see the true potential of 5G networks.
According to an ET Telecom report, Sekhon has said that Airtel is just waiting for the equipment to arrive from its vendors for the mmWave 5G trials.
mmWave 5G Bands Price Not Yet Decided
It is worth noting that mmWave 5G bands’ final price is still under consideration by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). The mmWave bands are expected to be the most expensive ones, and the sector regulator is still yet to come out with the final price for the concerned airwaves.
Yesterday, Airtel had announced that it conducted rural India’s first 5G trials. The telco had partnered with Ericsson to test the power of 5G in rural India. Airtel was able to deliver a download speed of 100 Mbps in a 3GPP compliant 5G smartphone and over 200 Mbps in a fixed wireless access (FWA) device, both located around 10 km away from the site.
For the 5G test in rural India, Airtel had used the airwaves in the 3500 MHz bands. Bharti Airtel believes that once the 5G spectrum auctions are done, India should be able to see live 5G networks within two quarters. Further, Airtel said that post one year of the auction, a large part of India might be covered by 5G. However, how fast the 5G networks will go live in India will depend on the TRAI as the final pricing of the spectrum from the regulator is still awaited.