Airtel & Ericsson carries out India’s first rural 5G trial

The test was conducted at the outskirts of Delhi/NCR, in Bhaipur Bramanan, using the 5G trial spectrum allotted to Airtel by the Department of Telecom.

On Tuesday, Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s well-known telecom company, said it timed speeds of 100mbps on a 5G-enabled mobile device in a test as a part of a rural pilot by the telco and Swedish networking and telecommunications company, Ericsson.

The test was conducted at the outskirts of Delhi/NCR, in Bhaipur Bramanan, using the 5G trial spectrum allotted to Airtel by the Department of Telecom. The development arises from Airtel’s decision of an Rs5,000 crore investment in data centres, which will require 5G connectivity soon to maintain extensive enterprise networking and government-based use matters.

In May, telecom services providers Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea were granted a spectrum to carry out 5G trials in preferred cities across India. The 5G solution deployment was likely due to improved mobile broadband (Embb) and fixed wireless access (FWA) services.

Embb refers to an expansion of services first launched by 4G LTE networks, which allows for a more extensive coverage area at high data rates. It will maintain peak data rates for a wide audience and users who are on the move. FWA is the method by which wireless broadband is presented through radio links between two fixed points. It is a microwave-based technology competent for transmitting and obtaining high-speed data.

“5G will be a transformational technology when it comes to delivering broadband coverage to the last mile through use cases like FWA and contribute to a more inclusive digital economy,” said Randeep Singh Sekhon, chief technology office Bharti Airtel.

The trial illustrated speeds of over 200 Mbps on 5G pliant devices at a distance of 10 km away from the site. On a 5G-enabled mobile phone, 100 Mbps was the top speed registered. The company said this was interpreted to area coverage of 20 km, where high-speed broadband coverage can be received.

The 5G site utilised Ericsson’s 3GPP-compliant 5G radio. 3GPP, short for ‘The 3rd Generation Partnership Project’, is an umbrella term for numerous standards organisations that generate customs for mobile telecommunications.

Airtel said it would be able to expand 5G over its current nationwide 4G infrastructure.
“5G will serve as a socio-economic multiplier for the country. According to an Ericsson study, on average, a 10 per cent increase in the Mobile Broadband adoption ratio causes a 0.8 per cent increase in GDP,” said Nunzio Mirtillo, Head of Ericsson South East Asia, Oceania and India.

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