Indian telcos propose year-long 5G trials

09 May 2019

India's major mobile operators have both submitted proposals to conduct year-long field trials of 5G services in the market.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio Infocomm - along with technology partners including Cisco, Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia - have submitted detailed proposals to the Department of Telecom, the Economic Times reported.

The operators are now awaiting approvals, and it is expected to take an additional initial three months to complete preparations and clearances, the Cellular Operators' Association of India (COAI) told the publication. COAI is the industry body that represents Vodafone Idea, Airtel and Jio.

But the Department of Telecom has previously expressed a reluctance to allocate airwaves for 5G trials beyond a 90 day window, which the industry believes would be way too short of a time to conduct the required trials.

According to COAI, the industry is expected to finally reach an agreement with the DoT on the duration of the proposed allocations, as well as other issues.

The Telecommunications Regulator of India has recommended the 3.5-GHz frequency range for 5G, and aims to complete an initial 5G auction early next year.

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