Bharti Airtel | 5G service in India | train
Megha Manchanda |
Being bullish on 5G services in India, Bharti Airtel on Tuesday said the company was now gearing up to test them on the millimetre band.
The band is considered suitable for next-generation 5G services even as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is yet to discover the price of these bands. “Our next round of trials should be on the millimetre wave,” Bharti Airtel Chief Technology Officer Randeep Singh Sekhon said during a media interaction.
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has approached Trai, seeking the regulator’s views on the base price, amount, and other modalities for spectrum across multiple bands.
These include bands such as 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, and 2500 MHz as also 3,300-3,600 MHz (that were not put up for auctions in the last round), and the millimetre-wave band (that is 24.25-28.5 GHz).
On Tuesday, the company announced it had, in collaboration with Ericsson, conducted the country’s first 5G network trial in a rural location, demonstrating the potential that 5G could unleash in bridging the digital divide.
The demonstration took place in Bhaipur Bramanan village on the outskirts of Delhi-NCR, using the 5G trial spectrum allocated to Airtel by the DoT. The trial showcases the potential offered by 5G in bridging the digital divide by enabling access to high-speed broadband through solutions such as enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and fixed wireless access (FWA) services, Airtel said.
5G technology enables connecting virtually everyone and everything, including machines, objects, and devices at ultra-high speeds and responsiveness, and with low latency.
Nunzio Mirtillo, head of Ericsson (Southeast Asia, Oceania and India), said 5G would serve as a “socio-economic multiplier” for the country.
“5G will be a transformational technology when it comes to delivering broadband coverage to the last mile through use cases like FWA and contribute to a more inclusive digital economy,” Sekhon said at a virtual event.
According to a study by Ericsson, on average, a 10 per cent increase in the mobile broadband adoption ratio causes a 0.8 per cent increase in GDP, Mirtillo noted. Over the past few months, Airtel and Ericsson have teamed up to showcase enhanced speeds of more than 1Gbps on a live 5G network set up at Cyber Hub in Gurugram, using Bharti’s 3,500 MHz trial spectrum.
In January this year, the two companies also showcased Ericsson Spectrum Sharing capabilities on a commercially deployed installed base of 1800 MHz liberalised frequencies in Hyderabad to give consumers their first experience of 5G from a live commercial network.
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