India's Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has allowed the three private telcos, Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio Infocomm, and Vi (formerly Vodafone Idea) as well as state-run telco Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) to start 5G trials in the country. But none of them will be using the technologies of Chinese entities.
The list of telecom gear makers approved for trials includes Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, C-DOT, and Reliance Jio's indigenously developed technologies. This means that Chinese gear makers will not be part of the 5G trials.
While the DoT’s statement says that the permissions given by the DoT are as per the “priorities and technology partners identified by the telecom service providers (TSPs) themselves”, the fact remains that no Chinese technology partner will be participating in these trials.
"The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) approved today permissions to Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) for conducting trials for use and applications of 5G technology. The applicant TSPs include Bharti Airtel Ltd, Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd, Vodafone Idea Ltd, and MTNL," DoT said in a statement.
For the trials this time, the telecom service providers (TSPs) will have to conduct tests in the rural and semi-urban settings in addition to their usual urban settings, the DoT said, so that test cases can be developed and tested for all users.
Experimental spectrum is being given in various bands, which include the mid-band (3.2 GHz to 3.67 GHz), millimetre wave band (24.25 GHz to 28.5 GHz), and sub-gigahertz band (700 GHz). TSPs will also be permitted to use their existing spectrum owned by them (800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, and 2500 MHz) for the conduct of 5G trials.
DoT has specified that the trials will be isolated and not connected with the existing networks of TSPs. Trials will be on a non-commercial basis. The data generated during the trials shall be stored in India. TSPs are also expected to facilitate the testing of the indigenously developed use cases and equipment as part of the trials. One hundred applications/ use cases selected by DoT after conducting the recent Hackathon on 5G applications can also be facilitated in these trials.