State-run telecom firm BSNL has inked a pact with Japan’s Softbank and NTT Communications to roll out 5G and Internet of Things technology in India, a top official has said.
“We have signed agreement with Softbank and NTT Communications to roll out 5G and IoT products and services in India. Under the agreement, we will look at solution specially for the smart cities,” BSNL chairman and managing director Anupam Shrivastava told PTI in an interview. He said most of the BSNL competitors are still looking at monetising their 4G services and hence leading companies have started looking at the state-run firm for 5G services roll out.
“We have benefited by lead taken by our minister (Manoj Sinha). He has held various meetings at global level on 5G. We capitalised on those opportunities and signed agreement for the next generation technology,” Shrivastava said. Telecom minister Sinha has said that 5G service launch in India will happen at par with other leading nations.
Stating that 3G services was launched in India after seven years the technology was available in other foreign markets and 4G services was launched after a lag of four years, Shrivastava said, “5G will be launched in India in 2020 as soon the standards are freezed by ITU.”
He said that BSNL is working to finalise test cases where 5G can be used in India.“We are in advance stages of starting 5G field trials. Government is in agreement to provide us 5G spectrum for trials. We expect to start field trials very soon,” he said.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has recommended auction of about 8,644 MHz of telecom frequencies at an estimated base price of Rs 4.9 lakh crore. The government is yet to finalise details of allocation of spectrum for 5G services.
Under the agreement with Softbank, BSNL will look at collaborating with the Japanese firm for its satellite constellation which will have around 900 satellites to provide high speed internet services across the globe. BSNL has signed agreement with Nokia and Cisco as well for developing 5G ecosystem.