India’s telecom ministry said it could free up nearly 6,000 Mhz of spectrum to be used for 5G networks, in a recommendation to the Indian government, according to a report in the Economic Times of India (ET).
The telecom ministry has identified spectrum across 11 bands that could be used for 5G services. Four of those bands, including 700 Mhz band, 3.5 Ghz, 24 Ghz and 28 Ghz, can be made available immediately, it said.
The country’s top wireless carriers are now planning 5G trials that could begin as early as June, in light of the telecom ministry’s spectrum recommendation. Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio, along with vendors Cisco, Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia, have all submitted proposals for year-long 5G trials in the country. Those proposals will need to be approved by the government before trials can begin.
But wireless carriers seem to be at odds with the telecom ministry over the duration of the proposed trials. According to ET, the government’s telecom department is hesitant to allocate spectrum for 5G trials beyond a three-month period. The government’s wireless planning and coordination department has said a trial period beyond 90 days would go against government policy. ET reports that the carriers believe 90 days is not long enough to hold effective trials for the new technology.
India’s telecom minister, Manoj Sinha, has said previously that the government would like to see commercial operators begin rolling out 5G services by 2020. The telecom ministry plans to hold a 5G auction early next year.