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Centre constitutes high-level forum on 5G

The high-level forum will evaluate and approve roadmaps and action plans with a broader target of rolling out 5G in India by 2020.

Written by Pranav Mukul | New Delhi |
September 26, 2017 3:19:21 pm
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The Centre has constituted a high-level forum on 5G technology, comprising secretaries of ministries of communications, information technology, and science & technology, along with representatives of the industry and academia, with an aim to have push participation in the process of defining global standards for the next generation of wireless technology. The high-level forum will evaluate and approve roadmaps and action plans with a broader target of rolling out 5G in India by 2020.

“We missed the opportunity to participate when the standards were being set for 3G and 4G, and don’t want to miss the 5G opportunity. Now when the standards are being set for 5G across the world, India will also participate in the process,” Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha told reporters here on Tuesday. “As per the OECD Committee on Digital Economic Policy, it has been stated that 5G technologies rollout will help in increasing GDP, creating employment, and digitising the economy,” he added.

In April, The Indian Express reported about India’s foray into fifth-generation of mobile telephony with the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) gearing up to hold discussions with key stakeholders in an effort to bring them on the same page for establishing the national 5G framework programme that was announced.

According to a senior telecom ministry official, the three aforementioned ministries will pool in to build a corpus of Rs 500 crore. “This money will be utilised for research and development for 5G technology, including what kind of spectrum will be needed, what chipsets or equipment will be more efficient considering India’s needs for rollout of the service in rural areas as well,” the official said.

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The high-level forum will also work towards accelerated deployment of 5G for specific use cases in India, and these will include the development of roadmap related to emerging technologies, testing, and trials. “We will leverage 5G technology for deployment of next-generation broadband infrastructure, through which we will aim to have 100 per cent coverage of 10 Gbps broadband across urban India and 1 Gbps across rural India,” the official added.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which will finalise the standards, has already proposed key performance requirements for the fifth-generation mobile technology. Even though the data speeds for 5G cannot be ascertained yet since the technology is yet to be deployed, ITU in February proposed the downlink peak rate for 5G at 20 gigabits (or 20,000 megabits) per second. Peak data rate is the maximum achievable data rate under ideal conditions. Comparatively, the existing fourth-generation technology or LTE-Advanced offers peak rates up to 1 gigabit per second in fixed speeds and 100 megabits per second to mobile users.

Apart from having a say in the standardisation exercise, the high-level forum on 5G will also aim to strengthen domestic telecom equipment manufacturing necessary for the technology. As per a presentation prepared by the DoT, the targets set for the forum suggest that local manufacturers should be able to capture 50 per cent of Indian market and 10 per cent of global market over next five to seven years.

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