The demonstration took place in Bhaipur Brahmanan village on the outskirts of Delhi-NCR using the 5G trial spectrum allocated to Airtel by the Department of Telecommunications).
Bharti Airtel has conducted a 5G network trial in partnership with Ericsson in a rural landscape, achieving a speed of over 100 Mbps on a smartphone, which was able to connect to the network at a distance of over 10 km from the site. A fixed wireless access (FWA) device at a distance of 10 km from the site recorded a speed of over 200 Mbps.
The demonstration took place in Bhaipur Brahmanan village on the outskirts of Delhi-NCR using the 5G trial spectrum allocated to Airtel by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).
The trial showcases the massive potential offered by 5G towards bridging the digital divide by enabling access to high-speed broadband through solutions such as enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and FWA services.
The 5G site infrastructure was powered by Ericsson’s 3GPP-compliant 5G radio and the trial was carried out by utilising the allocated mid-band trial spectrum in the 3500 MHz band and the existing FDD spectrum band. The results of the trial demonstrate Airtel’s capability to enable 5G for both capacity and coverage over its existing nationwide 4G infrastructure.
The highlight of the trial was the demonstration of over 200 Mbps throughput on 3GPP-compliant 5G FWA device at distance of over 10 km from the site. This translated into an inter-site (between two 5G sites) coverage of approximately 20 km, thus offering the ability to provide high-speed broadband coverage even in the remotest of geographies. As part of the trial, even a commercially available 3GPP-based 5G smartphone was able to connect to the 5G test network and record 100+ Mbps speeds at a distance of over 10 km from the site.
“5G will be a transformational technology when it comes to delivering broadband coverage to the last mile through use cases like FWA and contribute to a more inclusive digital economy. Airtel will continue to be at the forefront of 5G technology and bring more India relevant use cases through partnerships such as the one with Ericsson,” Airtel CTO Randeep Singh Sekhon said.
Over the past few months, Bharti Airtel and Ericsson have partnered to demonstrate enhanced speeds of more than 1 Gbps on a live 5G network set up at Cyber Hub in Gurgaon using Bharti’s 3500 MHz trial spectrum. Earlier in January this year, the two companies also showcased Ericsson’s spectrum-sharing capabilities on a commercially deployed installed base of 1800 MHz liberalised frequencies in Hyderabad to give consumers their first experience of 5G from a live commercial network.
Nunzio Mirtillo, head of Ericsson for Southeast Asia, Oceania and India, said: “The technology milestone of extended coverage achieved by Ericsson and Airtel as part of the ongoing 5G trial in India is even more significant since it demonstrates how 5G can connect the unconnected in India, enable faster 5G roll-out and truly help India realise its ‘Digital India’ vision.”