The telecom operators have made its submissions to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) regarding 5Gi during their meetings recently.
As the government looks to popularise and commercialise local 5G technology (5Gi), the telecom industry has reiterated that any kind of standards or technology should not be made mandatory and should be left to market forces for uptake. The telecom operators have made its submissions to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) regarding 5Gi during their meetings recently.
Last month, the DoT had formed a committee to devise a strategy for commercialisation and monetisation of 5G and 5Gi technologies. There is renewed focus around 5Gi technology as the government aims to become self-sufficient in telecom technologies and standards. Although so far no decision has been taken around making 5Gi mandatory, the thinking in the government is that operators should support and use local technology. The committee, constituted under the member (technology) of DoT, will seek inputs from stakeholders regarding 5G and 5Gi technologies. All the parties concerned, including telecom operators, network providers and others are required to send their comments for the short term by March next year and a further two years in the long term.
The telecom operators are of the view that no technology should be made mandatory and the uptake should be left to market forces. “If 5Gi has promise and is a good, all telcos will use it and there will be an ecosystem around it. But making it mandatory will be restrictive for uptake of 5G services in the country,” said an executive with one of the operators.
A few months ago, industry body COAI too had written to government with regard to adoption of 5Gi that the ecosystem was yet to be developed, validated and tested. “This may put the consumer at a burden if sufficient options are not available for devices procurement as also the operators will have to undergo additional constraints in validating technologies that are uncommon,” COAI said. Further, the body said that any new technology would still have to rely on the 3GPP core to offer services.
According to sources, the government wants to promote the 5Gi technology and wants operators to utilise it. The 5G trials are currently underway but no operator is doing it with local 5Gi technology. Recently, telecom secretary K Rajaraman had visited IIT Madras to see the indigenous 5G testbed being developed by the institute and other collaborating institutes.
The 5Gi standard has been designed to address the typical Indian rural-use case. The government has offered telecom service providers the option to choose between these two standards.