MTNL Might Participate in 5G Trials, Where is BSNL?

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Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the government-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), might participate in the 5G trials soon. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) will provide the telco with the necessary spectrum for trials if it submits the fees that’s required to get the permission. While MTNL might participate soon in the trials, the obvious question arises, where is BSNL?

BSNL is currently pushing for the 4G tender and is trying to build a PAN-India 4G network. At present, BSNL has 4G VoLTE services in select parts of the country only.

MTNL Will Partner Up With C-DoT for 5G Trials

According to a PTI report, MTNL will be partnering up with the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT), a government telecommunications development body, for conducting the 5G trials. It is worth noting that MTNL operates its mobile network in only two cities of the country - Mumbai and New Delhi.

Thus the state-run telco will be conducting its 5G trials in Delhi and an area near Najafgarh. But MTNL still hasn’t received the spectrum from the DoT because it is yet to pay Rs 5,000 as the fees for permission.

All the other operators, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea, have been provided with the necessary spectrum. The telecom department has decided to provide the telcos with the airwaves in the 700 MHz band, 3.3 GHz - 3.6 GHz bands, and the mmWave bands (24.25 GHz - 28.5 GHz).

Further, the government has asked the operators to also conduct 5G trials in the rural parts of the country. The operators have already decided on the companies that they will partner with to go ahead with the trials. As expected, the Chinese vendors have been left out of the process.

Global vendors including Samsung, Nokia, Ericsson, and the Indian government’s C-DoT will be helping the operators with the 5G trials. Reliance Jio is expected to conduct the trials using its proprietary technology as well as Samsung’s technology.

It is worth noting that the operators have been allocated the spectrum for 6 months to conduct the 5G trials. The operators will be conducting trials in major cities of the country, including Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Delhi.

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