In comparison with Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea (Vi) has been a little quiet when it comes to talking about 5G rollout plans. However, the telco has said that its network is already 5G ready, and when the right time comes, it will roll out the next-generation connectivity technology.
Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Vi, Jagbir Singh, said Vi has a strong portfolio of the spectrum, but the government needs to lower the reserve price of mid-bands for ensuring a smoother 5G rollout.
According to an ET Telecom report, Singh believes that Vi has enough spectrum in the 1800-2100 MHz bands, but the telco will require airwaves across more bands to deliver the true potential of 5G networks. However, he is confident that having enough spectrum in the 1800-2100 MHz bands would allow the telco in providing good coverage to the users.
He said that initially, the telco would look to leverage the dynamic spectrum sharing (DSS) technology to provide 5G services. Note that Airtel also tested its 5G network in Hyderabad using DSS technology in the 1800 MHz band.
Further, Singh said that Vi could go with carrier aggregation (CA) between the TDD and FDD technologies for deploying 5G, ensuring spectrum’s benefits are reaped by the telco, and users get a better experience with the company’s network.
Affordable Spectrum a Necessity for Company Like Vi
Vi has been under financial stress for several quarters. Singh said that government needs to provide the spectrum at reasonable rates, especially for a company such as Vi. For rolling out 5G, Vi will require more spectrum, but if that spectrum isn’t available at a cheaper rate than now, the company might not be able to participate in the auctions in its proper capacity.
Singh further said that the telecom industry and other sectors of the economy would have to partner up for developing and finding new use-cases for 5G.