The emergence of Reliance Jio has significantly changed the landscape of the Indian telecom sector. To combat Jio’s lucrative 4G VoLTE offerings, other major telcos like Airtel and Vodafone have sped up the process of upgrading their services to support high-speed mobile networks. But even as 4G adoption in India continues to increase, work has already begun to prepare the country for the next evolution of mobile communication – 5G.
According to a report by The Week, a Department of Telecommunications (DoT) panel recently submitted its findings to Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan, in a report titled ‘Making India 5G ready.’ The panel is headed by Arogyaswami Paulraj, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Electrical Engineering at Stanford University, United States.
The report consists of key recommendations and a detailed action plan on issues like allocation of 5G spectrum, regulatory policy, awareness drives, development of application layer standards, and undertaking of 5G trials. The DoT panel has suggested that the government announce the 5G roadmap by December 31 of this year. It has also requested for the setting up of a standing committee with a five-year term to advise on the development and deployment of infrastructure related to the 5G spectrum policy.
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Commenting on the DoT panel’s recommendations, Sundararajan said, “In all likelihood these recommendations would be looked into and a 5G policy could be framed even before that.” However, the likely rollout of 5G will come much later. Professor Paulraj said, “We expect to see a launch of 5G technology in the US by the first quarter of 2019. India could get 5G ready by 2020.”