Airtel, Huawei conduct first ever 5G trial test in India


Telecom company Bharti Airtel in collaboration with Chinese telecom gear maker Huawei have conducted the first 5G trial test in India. The next generation networks test was done at Airtel’s Network Experience Centre in Manesar, Gurugram.

The setup installed by the companies involved a 5G RAN that operated on a 3.5GHz network band, along with 5G Core and a 50GE network slicing router.

During the tests, which were conducted within a 100MHz bandwidth, resulted in a 1-millisecond with end-to-end network latency.

According to the companies’ statements, the data speed of over 3 Gbps during the test drive was achieved, which is the highest for a mobile network in 3.5 GHz band.

They also said that 5G holds the key to the growth of artificial intelligence (AI) systems, and can enhance Internet of Things(IoT) in the country. Once established, 5G networks promise to offer data speeds up to 50 or 100 times faster than current 4G networks.

Last year in August, Huawei released its 5G-oriented mobile bearer solution ‘X-Haul’. The solution, which is now available in India, will help operators in India build end-to-end 5G networks.

According to an industry estimate, 5G has the potential to enable a $27.3-billion revenue opportunity for Indian telcos and support up to millions of jobs by 2026.  India wants to leverage that for its Digital India and Make in India initiatives.

Meanwhile, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is also going to roll out a roadmap for 5G technology by June this year. It had already set up a high-level forum comprising officials from the DoT, the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, and the Department of Science & Technology, to accelerate the process of research and development of 5G network in the country.

Also Read: DoT to roll out 5G technology roadmap by June this year

Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan had earlier said that DoT is in the process of framing new policies and getting positive inputs for the new generation. The draft of the Network Time Protocol (NTP) 2018 is in final stages and will be put in public soon.

Besides Airtel, Swedish telecom gear-maker, Ericsson, had also invested around $4 billion in research and development of 5G technology. Recently, it raised $370 million from the Nordic Investment Bank (NIB) and AB Svensk Exportkredit to invest in research – that include further developing of 5G and other mobile innovations.

Huawei, which lead the Chinese market, aims to be world’s biggest 5G market. The firm is making in-roads in the other developing countries to compete with rivals Ericsson and Nokia.

The development was first reported by ET.

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