Airtel and Ericsson conduct first 5G trial in rural area

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on October 05, 2021

5G Telecommunication tower antenna in morning sky Evening sky   -  istock/sarayut

Trial showcases massive potential offered by 5G towards bridging the digital divide

Bharti Airtel and Ericsson on Tuesday said they have conducted India’s first 5G network demonstration in a rural geography, in Bhaipur Bramanan village on the outskirts of Delhi NCR, using 5G trial spectrum allocated to Airtel by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The trial showcases the massive potential offered by 5G towards bridging the digital divide by enabling access to high-speed broadband through solutions such as enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and fixed wireless access (FWA) services, the companies said.

Enhanced speeds

Over the past few months, Airtel and Ericsson have partnered to demonstrate enhanced speeds of more than 1Gbps on a live 5G network set up at Cyber Hub in Gurugram using Airtel’s 3500 MHz trial spectrum. Earlier in January also, the two companies showcased Ericsson’s spectrum sharing capabilities on a commercially deployed installed base of 1800 MHz liberalised frequencies in Hyderabad to give consumers their first experience of 5G from a live commercial network.

Also see: 5G wireless deep-tech start-up Astrome raises $3.4 million in funding

Digital India

“5G will serve as a socio-economic multiplier for the country. According to an Ericsson study, on an average, a 10 per cent increase in the mobile broadband adoption ratio causes a 0.8 per cent increase in GDP,” Nunzio Mirtillo, Head of Ericsson South-East Asia, Oceania and India, said.

He said the technology milestone of extended coverage achieved by Ericsson and Airtel as part of the ongoing 5G trial in India is even more significant since it demonstrates how 5G can ‘connect the unconnected’ in India and truly help India realise its ‘Digital India’ vision.

Transformational technology

Asked about business opportunities in the next 5–10 years through 5G technology, he said, “Ericsson’s 5G Business Compass report estimates the total 5G-enabled B2B opportunity for Indian operators, across 10 industries, would be $17 billion by 2030. The total value of the global addressable 5G-enabled market for service providers across the 10 industries is projected to be $700 billion by 2030. This is beyond mobile broadband.”

Also see: Airtel to invest ₹ 5,000 crore on new data centres by 2025

Randeep Singh Sekhon, Chief Technology Officer, Airtel, said that 5G will be a transformational technology when it comes to delivering broadband coverage to the last mile through use cases like FWA, and contribute to a more inclusive digital economy.

“Airtel will continue to be at the forefront of 5G technology and bring more India-relevant use cases through partnerships such as the one with Ericsson,” he added.

Published on October 05, 2021

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