5G network is picking up pace across the world and the Indian government is trying their best to stay in the race. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is currently in the process of establishing a new panel which will decide on areas where 5G technology can be used. Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan during an interaction with PTI revealed this news. She further added that DoT had received various proposals for using 5G technology in various fields such as drones for security surveillance, telemedicine and remote surgeries, monitoring of air and water pollution, etc. She also added that the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio is in advanced stages of 5G development.
DoT Approaches by Companies With Preliminary Use Cases
“Companies have come up with preliminary use cases. We are going to set up core group which will sit with them and look at what are the use cases that make sense to us,” she said. DoT approached Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, Cisco and NEC for development of 5G applications and running trials on the suggestion of Stanford University Professor Emeritus Arogyaswami J Paulraj, a member of the 5G panel that recently suggested spectrum roadmap for the technology, she said.
“We wrote to Ericsson, Nokia, Cisco, Samsung and NEC. Huawei has met me and they have said that they are interested. We said if you are interested then send us a proposal. We will see what their proposal is and we may go with them also,” Sundararajan said. She said Samsung, Nokia and Ericsson are in fairly advanced stages of developing applications for the 5G technology.
“Use cases that companies have looked at for applications include drones for surveillance, mining, monitoring water and environmental pollution… as well as telemedicine and remote surgeries,” Sundararajan said.
King’s College under the Cambridge University has also approached DoT through state-run telecom technology development centre C-DoT.
BSNL and Reliance Jio are at the More Advanced Stage of 5G Development
Sundararajan also said all telecom operators are working on 5G, but BSNL and Reliance Jio are at the more advanced stage of development. 5G services will be rolled out in the country after the government allocates spectrum to telecom operators. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has recommended the auction of about 8,644 MHz of telecom frequencies at an estimated base price of Rs 4.9 lakh crore.
5G is Expected to Go Mainstream in 2019
Going by the developments, 5G is currently expected to go mainstream or commercial in early 2019. Also, we might see the first wave of 5G smartphones launching as early as next year. Smartphone companies such as Xiaomi and Vivo are testing 5G compatibility with some of their existing and upcoming devices.