When will India get 5G? This is probably the most asked question in the Indian tech and telecom circle. Especially since there is a wave of 5G phones launching in the country every month. Though not entirely, but India’s leading telecom company Airtel has answered this by running a 5G trial in Gurugram.
India’s leading telecom operator has been able to deliver speeds of over 1Gpbs in the trial that is operating in the 3500 MHz band in the NCR region. The company now plans to conduct similar tests in cities like Mumbai as well.
Airtel is reportedly working with Apple and BBK-owned companies OnePlus, Oppo, Vivo and Realme to test its 5G network and for network gear, Airtel has collaborated with Swedish telecom equipment maker Ericsson.
Airtel’s #5G trial network speeds in Gurgaon. Running on Ericsson gear. pic.twitter.com/nLctWjIHuXJune 14, 2021
According to the government guidelines, while these trials are being conducted in public places, the public cannot participate in these tests. Even if anyone has a 5G compatible device, it still needs additional software from the manufacturer before 5G connectivity can be tested out on the phones. It is expected that Reliance Jio may make some announcements around 5G during the upcoming AGM slated to take place around the end of the month.
To recall, the DoT had recently given permissions to conduct 5G trials in the country after a long delay. During these trials, telecom companies can work in collaboration with equipment makers to conduct the trial runs. Apart from Airtel, telecom companies including Jio, VI and MTNL and equipment makers including Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DOT got approval to participate in the tests.
Airtel was allotted the 5G trial spectrum in 3500 MHz, 28 GHz and 700 MHz while Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea (Vi) have been allotted spectrums in the 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz, bands. As mentioned above, while Airtel is working with Ericsson, Jio has long back announced that it will work on an indigenous setup for 5G.
The current trial phase will last for 6 months and this also includes a 2 months’ time period given to the telecoms to procurement and setting up the trial equipment. With that being said, if everything goes according to the plan, a commercial rollout of 5G in India can be expected sometime early next year.