Telecom operators, including Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, have asked the Department of Telecom to extend the 5G trial period by six months.
In May, the government allocated spectrum to the telecom firms in the 700 Mhz band, 3.3-3.6 Gigahertz (Ghz) band and 24.25-28.5 Ghz band for trials for six months. “All telecom companies have asked for extension of 5G trials by another 6 months,” a senior government official told PTI.
The current trial period ends in November.
The Department of Telecom (DoT) has started the process for commercial roll out of 5G by seeking telecom regulator TRAI’s view on the pricing and methodology for spectrum auction. While there is no clarity onthe timeline of the auction, industry sources expect it to take place in the April-June 2022 period.
On May 4, DoT cleared applications from Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and MTNL for conducting 5G trials without using technologies from Chinese companies.
DoT had approved trials of 5G with Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DOT. In addition, Reliance Jio Infocomm has been conducting trials using its own indigenous technology as well as Samsung gears.
According to DoT, 5G technology is expected to deliver ten times better download speed than that of 4G and up to three times greater spectrum efficiency.
Vodafone Idea claims to have recorded a top speed of 3.7 gigabit per second during the trial while top speed recorded in India for commercial 4G services has been around 23 megabit per second.