5G trials to begin in India within the next 2-3 months: report


  • The parliamentary panel on IT slammed the DoT for the delay in 5G services
  • The next-generation network could be rolled out by late 2021 or early 2022
  • The 5G trials are likely to start in India in next two to three months

Telecom operators Airtel and Reliance Jio are expected to rollout 5G services later this year. The former had successfully demonstrated a live 5G service in Hyderabad last month. Smartphone manufacturers are already launching 5G compatible phones since last year. 

Also Read: Airtel will offer 5G networks in larger cities before nationwide rollout

Now in the latest development, ET Telecom reports that 5G trails will likely begin in 2 to 3 months in India. The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is in talks with ministries for 5G labs and it has informed the parliamentary panel on IT about the same. 

5G trials to begin in the next few months in India

The report by ET Telecom adds that the DoT has received 16 applications for 5G field trials using imported as well as indigenous technology. A separate report by The Times of India states that the government expects 5G to roll out in the country by end 2021 or early 2022 in specific use cases, following another round of spectrum auction. The use of 4G will continue in India for the next 5-6 years, as per the parliamentary panel.

Earlier this week, the parliamentary committee launched a scathing attack on the telecommunication department for the delay in conducting 5G trails. The panel asked why spectrum for 5G trial has not been allowed when DoT had mentioned no major issues in trials. 

The report tabled by Parliament added that India would miss out on 5G opportunities just like it did with 2G, 3G and 4G if there are any further delays. “Considering that TSPs have submitted their applications for 5G trials in the month of January 2020, the Committee would like to know the reasons for the delay in issuing spectrum for 5G trials to TSPs.”

Several countries have commercially rolled out the next-generation network. The telecom department is working with different ministries and departments for setting up India specific 5G use case labs in areas like education, healthcare, agriculture, public safety and Fintech.

The DoT informed the parliamentary panel that it is working with FSSAI, Ministry of Health, AIIMS, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for setting up of use cases in respective domains. The Indian government is also planning to allow 5G trials in a limited area for a limited time to test potential 5G India specific use cases.

The telecom ministry has already announced the auction of spectrum worth Rs 3.92 lakh crore from March 1st, but it does not include the desired frequency band for 5G services.


Viraj Gawde

Viraj is a Writer at large and has written on a variety of subjects including tech, finance, travel, and more. Outside work, he is an avid sports fan and loves video games.