Telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea have submitted their applications for 5G trials, industry sources said. Airtel has joined hands with Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson and Nokia for 5G trials in the country, while Jio has partnered Samsung, sources said.
Vodafone Idea has also filed its application for 5G trials and the company has partnered Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson and Nokia for the same, the sources added. E-mails sent to Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea remained unanswered. Last month, Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said the government will allocate airwaves to all telecom service providers for conducting trials of super-fast speed 5G network. India will not bar any equipment suppliers in the upcoming trials for 5G.
The stance had spelt relief for Chinese telecom gear maker Huawei, which rivals western equipment makers such as Ericsson and is facing curbs in the US. Many countries, however, have allowed telecom service providers to use Chinese gears. Now, India has also indicated its unwillingness to keep any company out of 5G trials.
Huawei India CEO Jay Chen had earlier stated the company firmly believes that only technology innovations and high-quality networks will be the key to rejuvenating Indian telecom industry. “We have our full confidence in the Modi government to drive 5G in India. We have our full confidence in Indian government and industry to partner with best technology for India’s own long-term benefit and also for cross-industry development,” Chen had recently said.
The 5G trials are widely-expected to begin between January and March. When contacted, Rajan Mathews, Director General of industry body Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) said, “We are pleased that Department of Telecom (DoT) is progressing ahead with the 5G trials to ensure the implementation of National Digital Communications Policy.”