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MTNL To Conduct 5G Trials In Delhi As DoT Allocates Trial Spectrum To Govt-owned Telco

The Government-owned MTNL has been given a spectrum to conduct 5G trials by the Department of Telecom with C-DoT as its technology partner.

MTNL 5G trials

Image: Unsplash/Twitter@MTNLMBIOfficial


After almost one month of allocating spectrum for 5G trials to telecom operators- Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone, the Department of Telecom on Wednesday allocated the spectrum to government-owned MTNL with C-DoT as its technology partner. The telecom company will conduct trials in the Najafgarh area of Delhi. For now, the duration of the trials is six months and the timeline includes two months for procurement and the setting up of the equipment.

Here's how the telecom companies have conducted the trials with planning:

  • Bharti Airtel - The telecom partner has started trials in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru and carried out 5G trials in Gurgaon’s Cyber Hub area. With a middle band spectrum of 3500 Mhz, the trials reportedly delivered a throughput of over 1 Gbps speed. 
  • Reliance Jio- Jio started its 5G trials in Mumbai using its indigenously developed equipment. The telecom giant is reportedly in talks with Nokia, Samsung and Ericsson for trials it will carry out in other cities. Jio has applied for 5G trials in Delhi, Hyderabad and Gujarat. Taking both mid and mm wave bands in Mumbai, Jio worked for 5G field trials. Jio is expected to soon begin trials in other cities.
  • Vodafone Idea (Vi)- Recent reports suggest that the telecom company has partnered with Cisco to improve its existing 4G network and, in the future, 5G use cases for offering better quality expe­rience for its customers. However, Vi has still not started the trials. 

Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea were given the spectrum in May to conduct trials across cities of India. DoT had approved applications to these companies excluding technologies from Chinese companies. Industry sources, however, earlier informed that none of the telecom operators has been allocated spectrum in Punjab, Haryana and the union territory of Chandigarh. 

5G in India

According to DoT, 5G technology is expected to deliver ten times better download speed than that of 4G and up to three times greater spectrum efficiency.

During the trials, the application of 5G in Indian settings will get tested. This includes telemedicine, tele-education and drone-based agriculture monitoring etc. Telecom operators will be able to test various 5G devices on their network. 

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