Bharti Airtel and Ericsson have commenced what they claim as India’s first rural 5G network trial.
Conducted in the village of Bhaipur Bramanan, which is on the outskirts of Delhi, the trial used 3.5GHz spectrum issued by the Department of Telecoms alongside existing FDD spectrum, reportedly achieving a peak throughput of 200MB/s via a 3GPP-compliant 5G FWA (fixed wireless access) device as well as 100MB/s speeds on a 5G smartphone.
The companies confirmed that these speeds were clocked at a distance of over 10km from the base station used for the test. Ericsson noted that this translates to an inter-site coverage distance of roughly 20km, demonstrating that the technology is suitable for delivering high-speed coverage in remote areas.
Airtel launched urban 5G trials in June this year, after receiving a six-month 5G trial licence in May. The operator has stated that 5G will help to connect India’s rural population, which totals 900 million. Airtel is delivering coverage via its existing 4G infrastructure.