With an aim to have a homegrown ecosystem for research and development of 5G technologies, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is soon expected to send a set of recommendations to the Centre that would enable companies wanting to conduct research experiments for the latest generation of mobile telephony to do so domestically, a senior official at the agency told The Indian Express.
“We need to have an ecosystem in India itself, which is simple so that experiments can be conducted. We should have sand-boxing, and licensing for experimentation on 5G technology here. For experiment purposes, we should have a light-touch system, where if some company wants to research, it should be able to get a license to do so,” the official said. “If these experiments were happening here, our officials would have been training here itself instead of China. We are soon going to give recommendations to the government on this issue,” he added. On Wednesday, The Indian Express reported that the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is planning to send its officials to China for a 10-day training course, organised by the intergovernmental organisation Asia-Pacific Telecommunity.
These proposed recommendations, which Trai plans to make to the DoT, will not be a part of the views sought by the latter on spectrum auctions, but will be suo motu in nature, the official said. According to a report by Chinese news agency Xinhua, the country had established a 5G test field aiming to standardise the mobile communication technology. Chinese technology firms such as Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp were said to be participating in the test programs, which were set between 2016 and 2018.
A number of Indian telecom companies have also made inroads into 5G research. Reliance Jio has partnered with Samsung to work on a project that would look at upgrading the mobile operator’s infrastructure going ahead. Apart from this, India’s largest telecom company Bharti Airtel, and state-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd have also started working with Nokia Networks to “accelerate the development of a 5G ecosystem”.
The telecom sector watchdog is also soon likely to float a consultation paper on the next spectrum auction, which is expected to include the 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3500 MHz frequencies, which are considered suitable for deployment of both 4G as well as 5G mobile services.