DoT-backed panel to meet on Wednesday for early rollout of 5G in India


A high-level panel, set up by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT), will meet on Wednesday to draft a plan for early deployment of 5G services in India, sources told the Mint.

The aim of the panel, which was created in September, is to form a competitive product portfolio for 5G technology with the motive to penetrate at least half of the Indian market and 10 percent of the global market over next seven years, the report said.

Industry and government representatives along with people from academics were selected to form the 22-member panel that is responsible for deciding the roadmap for 5G in India.

Representatives from major internet and telecom service providers  such as Bharti Airtel’s chief executive Gopal Vittal and Reliance Jio’s managing director Sanjay Mashruwala are part of the top panel and are likely to participate in the upcoming meeting, Mint reported.

When the panel was set up, the government had allotted a fund of Rs 500 crore for research and development in 5G.

5G is being considered as a significant technological evolution where internet speed will not only reach a new high, but it will connect people, all kinds of machines, cars and city infrastructure to each other — creating an “internet of things”.

The government wants to roll out 5G services for Indian consumers by 2020, which is also the international time frame for introduction of the technology.

The move to speed up things may also give way to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to sell certain airwaves that are suited for 5G networks.

Earlier in August, TRAI had published a consultation paper inviting opinions and observations regarding the due auction of different high-level spectrum bands such as 3300-3400 MHz and 3400-3600 MHz that are fit for 5G network services. The paper is due for an open house discussion.

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