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Home / Business / Airtel conducts first 5G trial on 700Mhz spectrum

Airtel conducts first 5G trial on 700Mhz spectrum

The telecom operator has been allotted test spectrum in multiple bands by the Department of Telecommunications for the validation of 5G technology
Representational image.

A Staff Reporter   |   Calcutta   |   Published 26.11.21, 02:05 AM

Bharti Airtel on Thursday said it has conducted the first 5G trial on 700Mhz spectrum on the outskirts of Calcutta. The trial, in partnership with Nokia, was also the first for 5G in the eastern part of the country.

The telecom operator has been allotted test spectrum in multiple bands by the Department of Telecommunications for the validation of 5G technology and its applications.

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The 700Mhz band did not find any takers in the last auction in March because of its high reserve price in spite of its good propagation characteristics that enable it to play a crucial role in 5G deployment.

Airtel in March had said it had acquired 355.45Mhz of spectrum for Rs 18,699 crore. The telecom major had acquired 21.6Mhz of spectrum for the Bengal circle in the 900, 1800, 2100, 2300 Mhz bands. The 21.6Mhz spectrum was later deployed in July taking Airtel’s total deployment in Bengal circle to 65 Mhz.

“Back in 2012, Airtel had launched India’s first 4G service in Calcutta. Today we are delighted to conduct India’s first 5G demo in the coveted 700Mhz band in the city to showcase the power of this technology standard. We believe that with the right pricing of 5G spectrum in the upcoming auctions, India can unlock digital dividend and build a truly connected society with broadband for all,” said Randeep Singh Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel.

Airtel did not reveal the outcome of the test but officials said the initial results were good. The test was able to achieve high speed wireless broadband coverage of 40km between two 5G sites in real life condition. Airtel used Nokia’s AirScale radios and standalone core.

“5G deployment using 700Mhz spectrum is helping communications service providers across the world to cost-effectively provide mobile broadband in remote areas, where typically it is challenging for them to set up the network infrastructure.

Nokia is at the forefront in the development of the global 5G ecosystem and we look forward to supporting Airtel,” said Naresh Asija, VP and head of Bharti CT, Nokia.

Bharti Airtel in January tested live 5G service on its existing 1800Mhz liberalised spectrum over a commercial network in Hyderabad. 5G and 4G had operated concurrently within the same spectrum block indicating the technology is available to deploy 5G within the current bands by the operator.



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