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DoT announces approval of 5G trials in India for Airtel, Vi, Jio, MTNL; Chinese vendors excluded

telecom mobile tower

Telecom operators will soon be able to carry out trials for the fifth generation (5G) of cellular networks, the government said on Tuesday in a press release. The telecom companies who applied for trial licenses are Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea (Vi), and MTNL. Most of these telcos have tied up with telecom gear manufacturers and technology providers; these manufacturers and providers are Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DOT, the government said. C-DOT is the Centre for Development of Telematics, and is wholly owned by the government. Notably, no Chinese company figures in the government's list of approved vendors. Reliance Jio will be conducting trials using its own indigenous technology, the government's press release said. The trials will be separate from commercial networks, and data of the trials will have to be stored in India. MTNL does not even have 4G networks, and cancelled a tender to upgrade its infrastructure after the government started pushing last year to exclude Chinese vendors from mobile networks. On spectrum for the 5G trials, the government said: The experimental spectrum is being given in various bands which include the mid-band (3.2 GHz to 3.67 GHz), millimeter wave band (24.25 GHz to 28.5 GHz) and in Sub-Gigahertz band (700 GHz).  TSPs will also be permitted to use their existing spectrum owned by them (800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2500 MHz) for conduct of 5G trials. The trials will run for 6 months, including 2 months to procure equipment. The Ministry of Communications (under…

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