Telecom operators looking for early 5G trials

By: |
December 4, 2020 2:30 AM

It has been demanded that no equipment/application vendor should be restricted for conducting the lab trial and operators should have the flexibility to conduct the trial for “Make in India” solutions with minimum to no requirement of submitting documents to department of telecommunications (DoT).

The validity of the licence will range between three months to two years, depending on the purpose for which the trial is being conducted.The COAI members include Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea. Representative Image

The telecom operators are demanding that the 5G trials should be conducted at the earliest and spectrum for the same should be granted for a minimum one year. The operators have also sought import duty waiver on the 5G trial equipment while asking for flexibility to conduct trials in any location within the circle as per allocated spectrum.

It has been demanded that no equipment/application vendor should be restricted for conducting the lab trial and operators should have the flexibility to conduct the trial for “Make in India” solutions with minimum to no requirement of submitting documents to department of telecommunications (DoT).

The telcos, through Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), has written to DoT that instructions for the conduct of trials for 5G technologies may be issued at the earliest. “The 5G trial applications were submitted by the telecom service providers in January 2020, however, till date the approvals for progressing, instructions for conduct for these trials have not been made clear and there is no set date for commencement of these trials,” COAI said in a letter to DoT secretary Anshu Prakash, a copy of which has been seen by Financial Express.

It must be mentioned that telecom operators have submitted multiple applications for conducting 5G trials. Although the government has not outrightly banned Chinese firms from participating, it has put in conditions to bar firms based in countries sharing a land border with India. The government has already imposed restrictions on public procurement from China and this condition may also be applied to 5G trials as spectrum is a public asset and it will be given to operators for a nominal fee for doing the trials.

Though initially the COAI was opposed to any restrictions being put on Chinese vendors on the ground that geopolitical issues should not be mixed with business, companies slowly prepared themselves for life without the Chinese vendors.

Last year, DoT had notified guidelines for conducting 5G trials. As per the rules, a uniform fee of Rs 5,000 has been fixed for the trial licence. The validity of the licence will range between three months to two years, depending on the purpose for which the trial is being conducted.

As per the guidelines, the quantum of the spectrum that can be allocated depends on its necessity and demonstration of technological capabilities. For example, typical values may be up to 100 megahertz in 3.5 GHz (gigahertz) band, 400 MHz in 26 GHz band and other potential millimetre bands, the guidelines said.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE, NSE, US Market and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, Check out latest IPO News, Best Performing IPOs, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Financial Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest Biz news and updates.

Next Stories
1Offices 2.0 await employees this year; companies prefer adopting hybrid work model
2Spectrum auctions may be a no-show: Telcos expected to do minimum buying, leaving about 60% spectrum unsold
3Indian smartphones back in the game: Brands like Micromax, Lava ring loud again