5G services to be rolled out in India by 2020

5G is the next future and India is planning to set it up. After the US and Europe, India may soon install 5G services via spectrum.
5G services to be rolled out in India by 2020

NEW DELHI: Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha has set the target for commercial roll-out of 5G services in India by 2020 which will be at par with other countries.

Around 6000 Mhz of spectrum can be made available of the next generation mobile services without delay, said the 5G committee of the Telecom industry.

If accepted, the panel's recommendation, which has been submitted to the government, can lead to India's largest ever spectrum allocation for a service.

An expert member of the panel and a professor from Stanford University, Arogyaswami Paulraj told PTI in an interview that the service will enhance mobile data speed in India by up to 50 per cent compared to current levels.

He is also a pioneer of MIMO wireless communications, a technology breakthrough that enables improved wireless performance. MIMO is now incorporated into all new wireless systems, as per Stanford site.

The Department of Telecom (DoT) is taking strong initiative to make spectrum available for the new service, Paulraj said.

At present mobile phone signals in the country are transmitted in 800 Mhz to 2600 Mhz band.

Now, the panel has spotted spectrum for 5G service across 11 bands of which 4 bands -- premium 700 Mhz band, 3.

5 gigahertz (GHz), 24 GHz and 28 GHz band can be made immediately available for the service.

The panel estimates that 5,250 megahertz of spectrum can be made available for 5G services in higher frequency bands, 300 Mhz in 3.

Paulraj said, "Spectrum reduces the cost of infrastructure, people will benefit from it. Our spectrum release in 5G will be more than spectrum to be released in many countries."

"If you have more spectrum you can use less base station to serve more people, the cost goes down.

If there is less spectrum, you have to deploy many BTS (mobile sites) and everybody pays the penalty.

Unlike earlier generation technologies including 3G and 4G, the next-gen 5G will not be limited to mobile services but will play an important role in societal transformation with usage in power grids, smart cities, agriculture, banking, railways, healthcare and the like.

Paulraj said: "India has already taken lead over many other countries. Other than U.S. and Europe, India is ahead of many countries. Bringing spectrum early will enable a lot of things."

Many factors like pricing is an important aspect of the 5G plan. Spectrum pricing has to be profitable to attract operators, hence the pricing has to be viable. Spectrum price per unit for 5G service in higher frequency bands cannot be priced at the same level as a lower frequency band.

"Upper bands we will priced lower than upper bands. Upper bands will require more investment and infrastructure", Paulraj said.

In lower frequency band like 700 MHz band, the mobile signal can cover a wide area but the coverage shrinks as the frequency band count increases.

The base price of one unit of pan-India 700 Mhz spectrum in 2016 was fixed at around Rs 11,000 crore by the government and interested telecom operators were required to buy a minimum of five units of radio waves in this band.

There were no bidders for this premium band due to its high base price.

Paulraj said that the base station for 5G will have to be deployed at around every 50 metres as coverage of mobile signals in higher bands reduces, hence increasing infrastructure cost.

He said that spectrum in E (71-76 Gigahertz frequency and 81-86 GHz) and V band (57-64 GHz frequency range), in which data can be transmitted at speed of 1000 Mbps, should be allocated as per international norms.

DoT (Department of Telecommunication) will soon release E and V band spectrums which is essential for high-speed radio links.

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The New Indian Express