Industry sources said that the Chinese vendor will probably work with local carrier Airtel in 5G trials

Chinese vendor Huawei said it expects to start a 5G trial in India early next year, according to Indian press reports.

The company did not identify its local partner. However, industry sources said that trials will be carried out in partnership with Indian carrier Airtel, according to the reports.

Huawei recently conducted a 5G demonstration with Airtel and Reliance Jio. The Chinese vendor has existing network partnerships with Airtel, Vodafone-Idea and BSNL.

In March this year, Bharti Airtel and Huawei conducted what the companies claimed to be India’s first 5G network trial achieving a data speed of more than 3 Gbps. The trial was conducted at Airtel’s network experience center in Gurgaon.

The trial included a 5G radio access network operating in 3.5 GHz spectrum, with a 5G core and a router able to perform network slicing, which allows many different virtual network services to be offered over the same physical infrastructure.

Last month, Huawei said it has received an invitation from the Indian government to take part in the country’s 5G trials.

According to recent reports by Indian press, the government has also invited Cisco, Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia to take part in future 5G trials. Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE recently said it is currently working with Indian carriers to provide end-to-end solutions for the future launch of 5G technologies. ZTE said that leading Indian operators have already started 5G tests and verifications with its products.

The Indian authorities expects the commercial launch of 5G technology to occur during 2020. Indian telecom regulator TRAI has recommended the auction of 8,644 megahertz of frequencies for the provision of 5G.

The Indian government expects to carry out the auction to award these 5G frequencies during the second half of next year. In August, a high-level 5G panel in India urged the national government to announce a 5G spectrum allocation policy by the end of this year. The panel also recommended earmarking additional spectrum bands for supporting 5G technology in the country.

The 5G Forum, which was set up by the Indian government, recommended the temporary assignment of 5G frequencies for carriers willing to carry out trials in the coming months. The panel also advised the government to promulgate guidelines on regulatory matters for the auction of 5G frequencies by March 2019, to facilitate early 5G deployments in the country.




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