Home Technology 5G trials to start in India in H2 2021

5G trials to start in India in H2 2021

by Ronil Thakkar


  • In the next 2-3 months, 5G trials will begin.
  • The DoT will soon start to distribute bandwidth to network providers.
  • The first testing of 5G commercial applications such as education, health care, agriculture, public safety, and FinTech will be carried out.

With both Reliance Jio and Airtel promising to roll out 5G services in India by H2 2021, it is only a matter of time before we see both companies conduct field trials. According to an Economic Times survey, we should expect to see them get established in 2-3 months time. The DoT (Department of Telecommunications) has officially told the IT parliamentary committee of the sixteen applications it has submitted for 5G trials. The committee is all too happy to get them going and has also asked the DoT why the trials did not start sooner. It has also raised concerns that the 5G spectrum has so far not been allocated to service providers.

This time around, 5G spectrum distribution should be relatively less convoluted, given that only a handful of providers are in the mix. However, due to dynamic spectrum sharing, network operators will use some of their current 4G bands for 5G services. Therefore, this time, the spectrum acquisition process should hopefully be a lot smoother. With respect to the delayed spectrum allocation process and 5G trials, the parliamentary committee released the following statement.


This is in complete contradiction with what the Department told the Committee during the Review of Grant Applications (2020-21) in February 2020 that the Government permitted all applications for 5G trials in a limited area and for a limited period of time to test possible relevant use cases for 5G India. Considering that TSPs have submitted their applications for 5G trials in the month of January 2020, the Committee would like to know the reasons for the delay in granting spectrum for 5G trials to TSPs.

When it comes to 5 G trials, applications such as education, health care, agriculture, public safety, and FinTech earn top priority. A 5G use Case workshop at IDRBT in the Financial Sector has earned the green light from the DoT and should be operational shortly. Likewise, the DoT is also working on additional use cases with the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India, the Ministry of Health, AIIMS, and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development.

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