Telecom Department permits 5G Technology and Spectrum Trials

The Department of Telecommunications recently allowed mobile operators to conduct 5G trials. The Chinese companies, however, have been kept out of the trials.

About the Spectrum Trials

  • The Telecom Department has allowed Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and MTNL to conduct trials using 5G technology. These service providers have tied up with original equipment manufacturers such as Nokia, Ericsson, Samsung.
  • The Reliance Jio is to conduct trials using its own technology.
  • The trials include model tuning, testing indigenous technology, evaluating chosen equipment and vendors, testing applications such as tele-education, tele-medicine, drone based agricultural monitoring.

About the Permit

  • The operators will be allowed to use their existing spectrum of 2500 MHz, 1800 MHz, 900 MHz and 800 MHz to conduct the trials. The trials are to be held for six months. Of this, the procuring and setting up of the equipment will take two months.
  • It is compulsory for the telecom operators to conduct trials in rural and semi-urban areas.
  • The trials are to be conducted on non-commercial basis.

Background

The 5G technology is expected to deliver improved user experience in terms of data download rates. The data download rates are to be five times faster than the 4G.

5G and Chinese concerns

The issue around Chinese vendors entering 5G technology is that they may contain backdoors that might enable surveillance of Chinese Government.

The US, Vietnam and Australia have banned the Chinese companies from providing 5G network services. The Five Eyes International Intelligence Alliance of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and US have declared that the use of Huwaei telecommunications equipment especially in 5G networks carries high security risks.

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