Vi (Vodafone Idea) Eager to Embrace 5G, Says ‘Keenly Interested’ in Trials

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Vodafone Idea is the next player after Reliance Jio striving to enter the 5G market in India. In a virtual media briefing, telecom service provider’s Chief Technology Officer Vishant Vora specified that the telco is ‘keenly interested’ in conducting the 5G trials. He said that Vi would support the government decisions on the subject. However, the 5G spectrum auction is going to take place in 2021. Vi along with Jio and other telcos which want to jump on the 5G train as fast as possible will have to wait a little more. More on the story ahead.

5G Trials: India should develop Own Cases

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) demanded a fresh set of ‘priority vendors’ for 5G trials two weeks ago. In response to DoT’s announcement, Reliance Jio Infocomm had named three vendors – Samsung, Nokia and Ericsson – along with its own technology for the trials. ET Telecom reported that Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea has opted for Nokia and Ericsson for 5G trials. There were also speculations that Vodafone Idea will conduct trials with a US-based company Mavenir.

However, Vora denied specifying the vendor it chose. “I can’t comment on speculations on media… We continue to stay engaged with the government, and we will support the government’s decision,” he said.

He emphasised that India should develop its own set of cases for 5G. According to Vora, such case studies will deliver exceptional value to India’s economy and society, instead of blindly following the rest of the world. 5G is already recognised as the ‘foundational piece’ of the economy of the future.

He appreciated Japan’s and China’s take on the subject. “They said we’re not going to charge you for spectrum, but we will actually like you to build a 5G network on which all of these other industries can grow,” he quoted the countries’ response. Vora added that Vodafone Idea will wait for the government's decision in 5G spectrum auction and that Japan’s and China’s take is worth considering while India deliberates on the subject.

In the media interaction, Vora announced that Vodafone Idea is teaming up with IBM for the Big Data platform.

Besides Vora, Vodafone Idea MD and CEO Ravinder Takkar had announced that telco’s network is ‘very-much’ 5G-ready during a recent AGM meeting.

India is much-delayed in 5G trials and is yet to take decisions on matters like including Huawei and ZTE amid the border tensions with China.

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