Indian telcos to start their 5G journeys this year

Debeshi Gooptu
eGov Innovation

India's plan of utilizing 5G technology to keep up with the rest of the world may soon become a reality.

Indian operators will start the process of upgrading to 5G technology from this year. According to Huawei India CEO Jay Chen, 5G technology in present form can deliver up to 1Gbps download speed.

"I can tell you Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology (part of 5G technology) will go to India this year. We have had discussions with leading telecoms operators who are interested and right now it is only available with Huawei for commercial deployment," Chen said in an interview. Wide-scale commercial deployment of 5G is expected to start in India in the next three years.

Bharti Airtel Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal had earlier said that the MIMO technology available with Huawei and ZTE can increase current capability of spectrum by up to 8 times at an additional cost of only about 20%.

Chen said that 5G standards are expected to be firmed up next year when wide scale commercial deployment of 5G will begin.

"We have already deployed 4.5G networks in 13 circles across India which with minor upgrades can be transformed to 5G. With 4G subscriber base in India increasing, the download speed will reduce for which operators will need to begin start 4.5G services," said Chen.

5G will bring advanced technology which will change the way network coverage is provided to subscribers.

"At present, subscribers runs to connect with the network. We are ready with pilots for multi MIMO technology that will follow subscribers. Dedicated spectrum frequency (beam forming) will connect with device of the subscribers and follow them wherever they go," explained Chen.

He added that the Indian industry is improving significantly with consolidation in the sector and end of spectrum shortage which provides good opportunity for telecoms equipment companies.

"Earlier their was spectrum scarcity in India. There were 13 operators who were involved in tariff war. Since last year we have not seen operators complaining about spectrum scarcity. Availability of spectrum gives them opportunity to deploy latest technologies like 5G. With Huawei we see this a very positive move. Our growth has also improved in India in last two years," Chen said.

He said that Indian operators are now moving in the direction where they can catch up with rest of the world.

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