100% Made In India Equipment | Government OKs 13 Applications For 5G Trials Chinese Vendors Kept Out

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100% Made In India Equipment | Government OKs 13 Applications For 5G Trials Chinese Vendors Kept Out
CHINA से मदद लेना तो दूर भारत सरकार ने देश से बाहर निकाला | India Kicks Out China | Exclusive Report

Government OKs 13 applications for 5G trials; Chinese vendors kept out
Jio had named Korea’s Samsung, Finland’s Nokia and Sweden’s Ericsson besides applying to trial its own technology. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea had opted for Nokia and Ericsson.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has cleared the much-delayed 5G trials, allowing Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea’s applications that seek to partner non-Chinese equipment vendors to work on developing use cases relevant for India on the next gen technology. The trials will initially be for six months.

“The applicant TSPs (telecom service providers) include Bharti Airtel Ltd, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, Vodafone Idea Ltd and MTNL. These TSPs have tied up with original equipment manufacturers and technology providers, which are Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and C-DOT,” the DoT said in a statement Tuesday.

“In addition, Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd will also be conducting trials using its own indigenous technology,” DoT added. The trials can start today (Wednesday) but there is no clarity on the timeline for the next spectrum sale, which will see 5G spectrum make its debut.

Names of Chinese players Huawei and ZTE were missing from the list of 13 applications from telcos which were approved by the government, in a clear signal that the two gear makers would not be a part of India’s 5G deployments as well.

ET was the first to report on the 5G trial clearance on its online platforms on Tuesday.

While both the Chinese telecom gear makers declined to comment, a senior executive at one of the two companies was still hopeful. “The government hasn’t said it has blocked the Chinese vendors… just that their applications weren’t processed as only the priority applications were given an approval,” the executive said.

In the initial 5G applications for trials, which were first slated to be held in early 2019, both Airtel and Vodafone Idea had applied to partner with Huawei and ZTE in some geographies. Since then India-China border tensions peaked. Then, as reported by ET, last September, the telcos were again asked to submit a set of “priority vendors” for 5G trials. In response, Jio had named Samsung, Nokia and Ericsson besides applying to trial its own technology. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea opted for Finland's Nokia and Sweden's Ericsson while MTNL applied to partner state-run Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT).

Industry insiders said this was a way for the government to start the much-delayed trials without having to take an explicit decision on keeping Huawei and ZTE away amid border tensions with China.

“We are hopeful that various use cases in telemedicine, agriculture and education will be developed in the trial period. In a departure from the previous practice of first auctioning spectrum and then allowing telcos to try a new technology like in 4G, this time we have reduced the gap between the trial of a technology which is happening first and then the auction of the bandwidth,” DoT secretary Anshu Prakash told ET.

Carriers are being given 100 Mhz each in the mid-band ( GHz to GHz), 800 Mhz each in the millimetre wave band ( GHz to GHz) and 10 Mhzeach in the 700 GHz, a senior government official told ET.

“Telecom service providers will also be permitted to use their own spectrum in the 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2500 Mhz,” the statement issued by the government said.

The trial period of six months is inclusive of estimated time period of two months for procurement and setting up of the equipment, DoT said.

The DoT though has laid out stringent conditions for testing, including testing use cases in rural as well as urban areas and paying special attention to security of the network, the official told ET. Telcos were warned that they need to use the airwaves allotted strictly for trials and not for commercial deployment, a clause if breached will be met with serious consequences, the official said. Also, any data generated in the trials will have to be stored in the country.

Emails sent to all three private telcos on the matter didn't elicit a response.
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