TRAI to release consultation papers for rollout of 5G networks and IoT in 2017

LTEto5G File Photo

India —

India has again given a strong indication that it is serious about 5G and IoT technologies. Earlier it is reported that India is planning to adopt 5G technology alongside other developed markets as well as working on projects to influence the 5G technology advancements.

The government of India has commissioned a dedicated research team on 5G technology, that has already filed 100 patents so far — of which around 10 have already been granted.

The research project, which was commissioned by the ministry of electronics and IT, was approved in September 2015 with an outlay of Rs. 36.51crore over a period of three years. Most of these patents have been filed by the team simultaneously in the US and in India.

In a recent development, Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) chairman R.S. Sharma said in an interview, “For next year, we are preparing a timetable by mid-January of a broad list of things (that we want to do. It has not been decided entirely but one of the things in mind is that new technologies need a push. How can we incentivize upcoming, cutting-edge technologies such as IoT and 5G? We will do consultation about that”.

The move may also provide an opportunity to the Indian government to attempt afresh to sell 700 mega hertz (MHz) airwaves which are ideally suited for 5G services. There were no takers for this spectrum band in the last auction of airwaves.

“We would like to understand from the stakeholders… whether there are any regulatory or legal barriers to growth of such a sector. These would not necessarily be just laying frameworks but also to understand if there are any regulatory issues. This will bring regulatory predictability to the sector,” Sharma added.

“Like we have a paper out on cloud, M2M, we want to understand standards, interconnection frameworks for those (5G and IoT),” he added.

India might have missed the catch up of 3G/ 4G with the rest of the technologically advanced markets in the world, however, it is planning to adopt 5G technology alongside other developed markets, given its focus on programs like Digital India.

“Why should India remain behind? If 5G has come somewhere, why should it not come to India before others?,” Sharma asked.