5G services to be set up across 500 cities in India in next one year?
Indicating a tough stand against Chinese equipment, the Cellular Operators Association of India director general said Chinese devices are not allowed in 5G mobile networks. For this, separate equipment is being sourced from European countries.
The preparations to launch 5G services in a smooth and immediate manner is in full swing. Government agencies as well as the private telecom companies have rolled up their sleeves to achieve the crucial technology shift. Affirming that the date of commencement of services would be announced soon, Lieutenant General (Retd.) Dr SP Kochhar, director general of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), has said the preparation is such that within the next one year 5G services should be started in 500 cities of the country. COAI is a non-governmental trade association representing telecoms.
5G services will increase data speed up to a hundred times
According to a report of the Hindustan Times sister website Live Hindustan, Kochhar mentioned that the trials of 5G services have been successful and the bottlenecks are being removed. Soon, 5G services will be launched in some cities. After the launch of these services, several new challenges will arise. He expected with 5G services, the speed of data will increase up to a hundred times while the conversation will get more clarity.
5G services cannot run in existing smartphones
He spoke on the need for new smartphones to run 5G services as it cannot run in existing smartphones. At present, 5G capable phones are expensive. It necessitates development of indigenous low cost 5G enabled smartphones.
Dr Kochhar said 4G smartphones cannot communicate over 5G mobile service. It is possible that 5G services are started with two options; one standalone, the other non standalone. Only 5G services will run as standalone. Whereas, 4G will also run along with 5G in non-standalone. Hence, non—standalone services will be started at the initial stage.
In the standalone option, the 5G network is supported by specialised equipment, whereas in the non-standalone mode, the 4G core infrastructure is used to support the 5G network. Jio has announced to launch standalone 5G services from next month.
A small tower needed every 300 metres
He also underlined the challenge of installing 5G telecom towers. 5G operates in a higher frequency band (3.3-3.6 GHz) thus, it will have lower wavelengths. The lower wavelengths compared to 4G also reduces 5G propagation distance.
For 4G services, there is only one mobile tower at a distance of three kilometres. But to start 5G services, a small tower will be needed every 300 metres. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had recently released a consultation paper ‘Use of street furniture for small cell and aerial fiber deployment’, where the plan to equip existing electricity or telephone poles with a small antenna was discussed. Although this will significantly reduce the cost of infrastructure, this antenna requires electricity all the time which will have to be arranged separately.
Chinese devices not allowed in 5G mobile networks
Indicating a tough stand against Chinese equipment, the COAI official said Chinese devices are not allowed in 5G mobile networks. For this, a separate equipment is being sourced from European countries. The government has created a Trusted Telecom Portal listing companies whose equipment has been approved. Notably, there is no Chinese company on the list. Tightening the telecom licence norms, the Centre launched Trusted Telecom Portal in June last year. It mandates Telecom Service Providers (TSPs) to only link their networks to those new devices which are designated as ‘Trusted Products’ from ‘Trusted Sources’.
He also expected that the mobile service company will increase the bill plan after starting 5G services, but the estimation is hard to make.