Broadband India Forum Takes Giant Step Forward for 5G Implementation

Working closely with the Government of India as part of the 5G High Level Forum, BIF today announced that it has formed a first of its kind ‘5G Committee’, to champion the roll-out of 5G trials with key industry players and translate the 5G linked policy objectives into on-ground reality and business friendly implementation.

The 5G Committee aims to help execute the Mission of the Government HL Forum on 5G and champion large-scale trials across verticals. This 5G Committee also aims to drive a comprehensive approach to spectrum, infrastructure policies, industry investment, and government support necessary to make India a front-runner in 5G deployment and use.

The BIF 5G Committee achieved a big breakthrough in the meeting yesterday when the First Response Public Safety Network was proposed as the first trial case. The emphasis of this trial will be on ensuring an environment where public safety is primary. The committee also zeroed down on the two other industry verticals - Internet of Things (IoT) and Manufacturing where the first set of 5G trials will be carried. Each of these verticals will be headed by an industry leader who will be driving the 5G trials with support and collaboration of other leading industry players. The companies identified as industry leaders for carrying out first set of 5G trials include Nokia for Public Safety, Sterlite for Manufacturing and Aeris for IoT. The first set of these trials is expected to be completed by end of 2018 or early 2019.

BIF also announced that it will be formulating and releasing an Request for Proposal (RFP) by early August for these trials under the leadership of Shri C S Rao, President, QuadGen Wireless Solutions Inc. and Member, High Level 5G Government Forum. The purpose of the RFP will be to spell the scope of the trials and identify spectrum needs, topological requirements and other technical requirements along roles & responsibilities of each stakeholder. The outcomes and feedback of these trials will then be provided to the government to help fine-tune policy aspects.

Speaking on the issue, Mr. T.V. Ramachandran, President, Broadband India Forum said, “We’re very excited that BIF has taken a big step forward by setting the ball rolling for 5G trials with industry leaders such as Nokia, Sterlite and Aeris in the areas of public safety, IoT and manufacturing. We expect this to form the bed-rock of commercial use cases built around 5G technology and will help accelerate the growth of our digital economy to meet the stated target of US$1Trillion by 2022 as enshrined in the National Digital Communications Policy 2018.”

The announcement comes on the heels of a meeting of the high-level 5G Committee headed by Ms Nivruti Rai, Country Head of Intel India and Vice President, Data Center Group, Intel Corporation. Members present included senior officials from the DoT including Member (Technology), Academia, C-DOT, BSNL and representatives from the industry including Google, Qualcomm, Nokia, Intel, Cisco, Huawei, RJio, Telenor, Xiaomi, Aeris, WiSig, Sterlite and several others. This initiative corresponds with the government’s broader target of rolling out 5G in India by 2020, which is when 5G services are expected to be rolled out globally by most telecom companies. BIF President, Mr T.V. Ramachandran, is a nominated member of the high level 5G Government Forum.

Development of a Broadband National Public Safety Network for India can be implemented by setting up of Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) by the government in order to control and monitor the public safety network across the country. This has to be catalyzed by setting up further specialized coordination command centres to coordinate across public safety agencies. The government should allocate spectrum of low bands like 700 MHz, 850 MHz for better coverage and higher frequencies for high data rate communication.