India’s government gave the green light to the country’s operators to begin conducting 5G trials in the country for a six month period, although it appears Chinese vendors will not be permitted to take part.
In a press note, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) announced it had given permission to Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and MTNL to conduct trials for use of the technology, as well as run applications powered by 5G.
It added the companies would work with Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia and state-owned technology company C-Dot, while Jio Platforms will also be allowed to use homegrown technology. Notably, there was no mention of Huawei or ZTE.
The pair’s omission is the latest sign that India will push ahead with blocking both companies from its 5G rollout, after the government reportedly begun implementing new network equipment purchasing rules in March.
It followed a mandate for operators to procure certain mobile equipment from government approved sources, with restrictions set to be put in place from 15 June.
Its hardline on Huawei and ZTE comes after relations between India and China began deteriorating in June 2020.
For the upcoming trials, DoT will give out experimental spectrum in various bands, including mid-band (3.2GHz – 3.67GHz), mmWave (24.25GHz to 28.5GHz) and in 700GHz, while operators will also be allowed to use their existing spectrum as well.
India’s operators opted not to acquire any 5G-suitable 700MHz spectrum in the country’s latest auction held in March, despite splashing a total of $11 billion on 4G airwaves, blaming high reserve prices.
Each operator will also be required to conduct trials in rural and semi-urban settings, with the objective of testing applications including tele-medicine, tele-education, AR, VR, drone-based agricultural monitoring and to test 5G phones and devices.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back