The Chronicles of 5G deployment in India : News and Updates

Gautam

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India may use 'street furniture' for 5G

By Muntazir Abbas & Mansi Taneja, ET Bureau
Last Updated: Dec 31, 2021, 09:45 AM IST

Synopsis
On December 20, 2021, the committee convened its first meeting to see the viability, and is reviewing the quantum of state-owned infrastructure for making it available for 5G small cells deployment.

The government is considering the possibility of using ‘street furniture’ such as electric poles to deploy next generation 5G telecom infrastructure to overcome right-of-way (RoW) challenges, a person aware of the development said.

The move follows a proposal from Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) submitted to the telecom department (DoT) early this month to utilise its state-wide electric poles to deploy 5G equipment.

“The department has formed a committee to review the availability of street furniture, particularly the strength of electricity poles, and air speed so as to see if they are capable of being leveraged for seamless 5G network,” the person told ET Telecom.

The committee convened its first meeting on December 20, and is currently reviewing the quantum of state-owned infrastructure for making it available for 5G small cells deployment.

“The support from state governments is critical, and the department is considering a serious enhancement of RoW policy, otherwise, the spectrum auction and its allocation may not yield desired benefits,” the person said.

With the next generation networks expected to be rolled out next year, the industry would need higher quantum of antennas and small cells that may fall within a range between 100 to 200 metres depending upon the nature of allocated frequency band.

The main issue industry faces with deployment of small cells is on the operational side such as the site acquisition, RoW, rentals, and the energy cost and availability, according to industry body Digital Infrastructure Providers Association (Dipa).

“Initiative from KSEB is also well appreciated,” said Tilak Raj Dua, director-general of Dipa. “They have come forward to share their infrastructure with industry, which is definitely going to help the state of Kerala also in early deployment of 5G using small cells.”

Dipa and telecom industry association Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) have shared various international best practices being adopted for use of street furniture deployment of 5G network with the DoT committee.

“To combat the challenges of laying aerial OFC (optical fibre cable), which serves as the backbone for small cell towers, it is important to enable initiatives for sharing existing infrastructure,” said SP Kochhar, director-general of COAI. “We completely support the idea of deploying 5G small cells on electric poles.”

During the meetings held with KSEB and DoT, the Delhi-based Dipa also sought support from Kerala government for enabling policy provisions for deploying aerial OFC, availability of online portal with mapping of entire KSEB network, and speedy RoW approvals for network installations at minimal costs.

The discussions by the telecom department are not only important, but are timely as well, as the industry and government have already started setting the stage for 5G rollouts in the country, Dua said. It is one of the best cross-sector infrastructure sharing examples and would set a benchmark for other states too, he said.

India may use 'street furniture' for 5G
 
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RISING SUN

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India's First 5G Call Tested By Minister At IIT-Madras​

New Delhi:
Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw today successfully tested India's first 5G audio and video call at IIT Madras. The entire network has been designed and developed in India, the minister said.

"Successfully tested 5G call at IIT Madras. Entire end to end network is designed and developed in India," Mr Vaishnaw posted on Koo.

"This is the realisation of Hon'ble Prime Minister's vision. His vision is to have our own 4G, 5G technology stack developed in India, made in India and made for the world. We have to win the world with this entire technology stack," Mr Vaishnaw said.

The Department of Telecommunications is likely to move the 5G spectrum auction proposal to the Union Cabinet for final approval next week.

The roll-out of 5G services, expected in the latter part of the year, will enable a new realm in the quality of services as well as new types of services. TRAI Chairman, PD Vaghela said that digital technology is changing service delivery in education, healthcare, agriculture, energy, and other sectors. In this context, he called for an enabling, collaborative approach among various sectors for framing policies and regulations.

Comments Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the country's first 5G testbed at IIT Madras to enable startups and industry players to test and validate their products locally and reduce dependence on foreign facilities.
 

RISING SUN

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5G rollout in India: Cabinet approves 5G spectrum auction​

India is going to get 5G services very soon. The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has finally approved the Department of Telecommunications (DoT)’s 5G spectrum auction through which spectrum will be assigned to bidders to provide 5G services to the public as well as enterprises.

The cabinet claimed that the 5G network will provide speed and capacity that would be about 10 times higher than what is possible through the current 4G services.

A total auction of 72097.85 MHz of spectrum with 20 yrs validity by July-end will be put to auction, which is said to be held by the end of July 2022. Ashwini Vaishnav, Minister of Telecom and IT said that the “spectrum auction announced today is an integral part of developing BharatKa5G ecosystem.”

PIB in an official release detailed that the “auction will be held for spectrum in various Low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), Mid (3300 MHz) and High (26 GHz) frequency bands.”

The spectrum auction is said to benefit from the Telecom Sector Reforms announced in September 2021. The reforms include zero Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC) on the spectrum acquired in the upcoming auction, providing significant relief to the service providers in terms of the operating cost of telecom networks.


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The cabinet also said that for the very first time “there is no mandatory requirement to make upfront payment by the successful bidders.” Payments for spectrum can be made in 20 equal annual instalments to be paid in advance at the beginning of each year. “The bidders would be given an option to surrender the spectrum after 10 years with no future liabilities with respect to balance instalments,” the Modi government said in an official statement.

“The availability of sufficient backhaul spectrum is also necessary to enable the roll-out of 5G services. To meet the backhaul demand, the Cabinet has decided to provisionally allot 2 carriers of 250 MHz each in E-band to the Telecom Service Providers. The Cabinet also decided to double the number of traditional Microwave backhaul carriers in the existing frequency bands of 13, 15, 18 and 21 GHz bands,” the release added.
 

RISING SUN

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Cabinet approves Auction of IMT/5G Spectrum​


Measures to reduce cost of doing business for Telecom Service Providers
5G services to be rolled out soon – about 10 times faster than 4G
Over 72 GHz of Spectrum to be auctioned for a period of 20 years​

The Union Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved a proposal of the Department of Telecommunications to conduct spectrum auction through which spectrum will be assigned to the successful bidders for providing 5G services to public and enterprises.

Digital connectivity has been an important part of policy initiatives of Government through its flagship programs such as Digital India, Start-up India, Make in India etc.

Broadband, especially the mobile broadband, has become integral part of the daily lives of the citizens. This received a big boost through the rapid expansion of 4G services across the country since 2015. Eighty crore subscribers have access to broadband today compared to ten crore subscribers in 2014.

Through such pathbreaking policy initiatives, the Government has been able to promote access to mobile banking, online education, telemedicine, e-Ration etc. to Antyoday families.

The 4G ecosystem created in the country is now leading to 5G indigenous development. The 5G test bed setup in 8 top technology institutes of India is speeding up the launch of domestic 5G technology in India. The PLI (Production-Linked Incentives) schemes for mobile handsets, telecom equipments and the launch of the India Semiconductor Mission is expected to help build a strong ecosystem for the launch of 5G services in India. The time is not far away when India is going to emerge as a leading country in field of 5G technology and the upcoming 6G technology.

Spectrum is an integral and necessary part of the entire 5G eco-system. The upcoming 5G services have the potential to create new age businesses, generate additional revenue for enterprises and provide employment arising from the deployment of innovative use-cases and technologies.

A total of 72097.85 MHz of spectrum with a validity period of 20 years will be put to auction to be held by the end of July, 2022. The auction will be held for spectrum in various Low (600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz), Mid (3300 MHz) and High (26 GHz) frequency bands.

It is expected that the Mid and High band spectrum will be utilised by Telecom Service Providers to roll-out of 5G technology-based services capable of providing speed and capacities which would be about 10 times higher than what is possible through the current 4G services.

The spectrum auction will be benefitted by the Telecom Sector Reforms announced in September, 2021. The reforms include zero Spectrum Usage Charges (SUC) on the spectrum acquired in the upcoming auction, providing a significant relief to the service providers in terms of the operating cost of telecom networks. Further, the requirement of submitting a financial bank guarantee equivalent to one annual instalment has also been done away with.

Continuing the pace of Telecom Sector reforms, the Cabinet announced various progressive options with regard to the spectrum to be acquired by bidders through the forthcoming spectrum auction for facilitating ease of doing business. For the first time ever, there is no mandatory requirement to make upfront payment by the successful bidders. Payments for spectrum can be made in 20 equal annual instalments to be paid in advance at the beginning of each year. This is expected to significantly ease cash flow requirements and lower the cost of doing business in this sector. The bidders would be given an option to surrender the spectrum after 10 years with no future liabilities with respect to balance instalments.

The availability of sufficient backhaul spectrum is also necessary to enable the roll-out of 5G services. To meet the backhaul demand, the Cabinet has decided to provisionally allot 2 carriers of 250 MHz each in E-band to the Telecom Service Providers. The Cabinet also decided to double the number of traditional Microwave backhaul carriers in the existing frequency bands of 13, 15, 18 and 21 GHz bands.

The Cabinet also decided to enable the development and setting up of Private Captive Networks to spur a new wave of innovations in Industry 4.0 applications such as machine to machine communications, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) across automotive, healthcare, agriculture, energy, and other sectors.