Stakeholders deliberate on 5G roll-out in India at TRAI workshop

MUMBAI: The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) had organised a Workshop on ‘Enabling 5G in India’ on 1st May 2019, with a view to provide a platform for the industry to deliberate on the potential 5G use cases and to exchange views on the commercial, changes in regulatory and infrastructural issues that are imperative to facilitate the deployment of such use cases.

TRAI chairman RS Sharma in his inaugural address highlighted the importance of the timely launch of 5G in India and also mentioned that scalability, inter-operability, frugality, optimum utilization of resources, convergence are some of the key success points for 5G ecosystem development in India. As 5G will involve varied stakeholders, the licensing regime needs to be widened.

The key deliberations held during the Workshop was that the 5G use cases would be different for different countries depending on the economy, development stage and other factors. 5G would require more harmonised spectrum and need to move to higher frequency bands to enhance the capacity.

It was also discussed that with 5G coming in, the backhaul should be ready to handle the kind of data traffic which will flow in the network. Microwave and Fibre are complementing backhaul solutions for 5G. For the success of 5G, it is critical that the E-Band be opened-up in India, at the earliest.

Considering the increasing need for fiberisation and small cell deployment for densification of network, it is critical that the RoW permission, access to street infrastructure and other approvals are streamlined. Deliberations were also made on security in 5G network to rule out the vulnerability.

The workshop was conducted in New Delhi on 1st May 2019. The Secretary, Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Secretary, Ministry of Information Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY) were the special guests of the Workshop, wherein Chairman, Members and Secretary of TRAI were also present.

The workshop was divided into six sessions and experts in the field, both Indian and international, participated in the workshop and deliberated on the issues. Varied stakeholders took part in the workshop including representatives from the Government entities such as DoT, MietY, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA), Technology companies, Telecom Service Providers, Infrastructure providers, Industry Associations.

The Secretary, DoT, and Secretary, MeitY, both the special guests of the Workshop, congratulated TRAIfor conducting the very timely workshop. It was highlighted that 5G has the potential to create a huge economic impact. Therefore, 5G should be inclusive and indigenous. Coordinated efforts are being made by the Government, Industry, and Academia for contributing m 5G Standardization.

The workshop provided a common platform for all the key stakeholders to understand the issues and come together and take timely action to enable implementation of 5G in India so that the Country can reap the benefits of 5G.

TRAI had released a White Paper on ‘Enabling 5G in India’ on 22nd February 2019. The White Paper highlights the specifications of the 5G technology, discusses the potential use cases and architecture of the 5G network, deliberates those areas that will require investment for 5G deployment, covers the spectrum requirements for 5G networks, and tries to identify regulatory challenges that need to be addressed for the deployment of 5G in India.

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