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India is Ready to Embrace Its 5G Stack by October 2022, Says Communications Minister

On Wednesday, 18th May, the Minister of Communications, Electronics, and Information Technology, Ashwini Vaishnav, made a big announcement. He said India’s 5G stack would be ready by September-October 2022.

“5G stack is in advanced states; somewhere in September to October, India’s own 5G stack would be ready,” said Vaishnav while speaking at a TRAI-organized event. He added that the indigenous telecom stacks mark “big fundamental technological advancements.”

PD Vaghela, TRAI Chairman, echoing the sentiment, said that the launch of 5G services is expected to start in the latter part of the year. The move will allow a new realm in the quality of services and new types of services.

While addressing the international delegates at the event, Vaishnav called nations worldwide to actively look at 4G and 5G technology stacks in India and cited their quality and cost advantages.

“It would greatly contribute to your telecom customers in your nations. I am talking about a big fundamental tech advancement which is in the 4G stack of India,” Vaishaw said.

Also, the minister called for bridging the digital gap across the globe. “Today, technology has taken a front seat in the world economy, if the digital gap is not filled, then the digital divide will only increase up to a point we may not be able to bridge that gap.”

GOI’s Telecom Target

“Consumer expectations regarding download speeds and latency of the system is an important target for the government. It is an appropriate opportunity for us to look back at what we have done so far and see how we can push the service quality to the next level,” said K Rajaraman, Telecom Secretary, while underlining the Indian government’s target.

Our honorable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, inaugurated India’s first 5G testbed to enable startups to test and validate their products domestically and reduce their dependence on overseas facilities.

More than 300 engineers and 40 scientists, as a part of the multi-institute collaborative project by eight institutes led by IIT Madras, developed the 5G testbed. It has all the components of a 5G network, including transport equipment like antennae, radio, and the core network.

The 5G testbed will allow startups to test 5G use cases, solutions, and new products. The core network supports about 10k devices and offers speeds up to 40 Gbps.

5G Spectrum Auction

On the same day, the DCC, Digital Communication Commission, backed the telecom regulator’s base price to auction the 5G spectrum with a validity of 20 years. Moreover, sources from the DoT, Department of Telecommunications informed Economic Times that Dot might seek Cabinet approval on the same by next week.

The Indian government plans to auction over 1 lakh units of spectrum in the 600 MHz, 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz, 2500 MHz, 3.3-3.67 GHz, and 24.25-27.5 GHz bands, valued at around 5 lakh crore INR.

5G technology will offer lower latency, higher speed, and more capacity than 4G LTE networks. It will allow users to download content quickly with significantly lower lag. As per Ookla, 5G promises to provide speeds up to 600 Mbps, with the slowest being 156 Mbps in Singpore, which is still faster than 4G networks currently operational in India.