Telecom major Airtel has successfully conducted India’s first 5G trial in the 700 MHz band in partnership with Nokia. Airtel has been allotted test spectrum in multiple bands by the government’s Department of Telecommunications for the validation of 5G technology and use cases.
The demonstration, which was conducted on the outskirts of Kolkata, was also the first 5G trial in eastern India.
Leveraging the enhanced propagation characteristics of the 700 MHz band, Airtel and Nokia were able to achieve high speed wireless broadband network coverage of 40 km between two 3GPP standard 5G sites in real life conditions. Airtel used equipment from Nokia’s 5G portfolio, which included Nokia AirScale radios and standalone (SA) core.
Randeep Singh Sekhon, CTO – Bharti Airtel, said, “Back in 2012, Airtel launched India’s first 4G service in Kolkata. Today, we are delighted conduct India’s first 5G demo in the coveted 700 MHz band in the city to showcase the power of this technology standard. We believe that with the right pricing of 5G spectrum in the upcoming auctions, India can unlock the digital dividend and build a truly connected society with broadband for all.”
Naresh Asija, VP and Head of Bharti CT, Nokia, said, “5G deployment using 700Mhz spectrum is helping communications service providers across the world to cost-effectively provide mobile broadband in remote areas, where typically it is challenging for them to set up the network infrastructure. Nokia is at the forefront in the development of the global 5G ecosystem, and we look forward to supporting Airtel on its 5G journey.”
Earlier this year, Airtel demonstrated India’s first 5G experience over a live 4G network. It also demonstrated India’s first rural 5G trial as well as the first cloud gaming experience on 5G. As part of #5GforBusiness, Airtel has joined forces with leading global consulting and technology companies and brands to test 5G based solutions.