According to a DOT release issued on Monday, telecom operators have established 5G trial sites in Gurugram, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Pune, and Gandhi Nagar, and these metros and big cities will be the first places in the country to launch 5G services in 2022. A request for suggestions for the 5G spectrum auction and different modalities such as reserve price, band plan, block size, and quantum of spectrum to be auctioned was made to sector regulator TRAI in September 2021, it said.
“Process of assignment of frequencies to TSPs (telecom service providers) would be initiated at the earliest possible, Department of Telecom (DOT) said in a statement related to the year-end review.
The statement further said that telcos including Airtel, Jio, and Vodafone Idea have established 5G trials sites in locations such as Gurugram, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jamnagar, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Pune, Gandhi Nagar cities, and added: “these metros and big cities would be the first places for the launch of 5G services in the country, next year”.
“In September 2021, a reference has been sent to TRAI, seeking recommendations for the auction of spectrum identified for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT)/ 5G with regard to reserve price, band plan, block size, quantum of spectrum to be auctioned and conditions of auctions in 526-698 MHZ,700 MHZ, 800 MHZ, 900 MHZ, 1800 MHZ, 2100 MHZ, 2300 MHZ, 2500 MHZ, 3300-3670 MHZ and 24.25-28.5 GHZ bands for 5G public as well as private 5G networks, for meeting the spectrum requirements of captive 5G applications of the industry…,” it said.
The release also said that the indigenous 5G Testbed project, funded by the Telecom Department, has reached final stages and the project is likely to be completed by December 31, 2021.
Summing up the year 2021, the release by the DoT outlined the progress across various initiatives from BharatNet to the installation of mobile towers in LWE (Left Wing Extremism) affected areas, as well the telecom reforms announced in September to ease financial stress in the sector. “Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in telecom sector rose by around 150 percent between 2014-2021 from Rs 62,386 crore in 2002 to 2014 to Rs 1,55,353 crore during 2014-2021, the release said On 5G Testbed, it informed that the indigenous 5G testbed project funded by the DoT has reached its final stages. The eight implementing agencies that is IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, IISC Bangalore, SAMEER, and CEWIT have been working over a period of 36 months.
“Costing about Rs 224 crore, the project is likely to be completed by December 31, 2021, paving the way for end-to-end testing of 5G User Equipments (UES) and network equipment by 5G stakeholders developing 5G Products/Services/Use cases, including indigenous start-ups, SMEs, academia and industry in the country,” it said.
The indigenous 5G test bed, a technology development project initiated in telecom space, will enable development, testing and proliferation of 5G technology system components, cross sectoral usecases, besides setting up foundation for the development of ‘6G Technology landscape’ in the country.
A 6G ‘Technology Innovation Group’ or TIG has been constituted by the DoT with aim to co-create and participate in the development of 6G technology ecosystem through increased participation in capability description, standards development at global standard setting bodies.
“This would be necessary to prepare India’s manufacturing and services ecosystem to capitalise on 6G opportunity,” it said. 6G TIG, comprises members from government, 6G TIG, comprises members from government, academia, industry associations and Telecom Standards Development Society of India (TSDSI). In its first meeting on November 25, TIG members presented the future technology needs in different sectors of economy to enhance India’s contribution in global value chain. The rural tele density has jumped from 44 per cent in March 2014 to 59 per cent in September 2021. Broadband connections have risen to 79 crores in June 2021 from 6.1 crore in March 2014. Giving further updates on the sector, the release said: “In order to provide mobile connectivity in the areas affected by Left Wing Extremism (LWE), the government has installed mobile towers at 2343 locations under Phase-I of this project and these towers are providing mobile services”. Under the second phase of this project, the government has approved installation of 2542 towers for providing 4G mobile services and the project is under implementation.