Indian telecommunications firm Reliance Jio confirmed that it has completed the 5G coverage planning for 1,000 cities across the country.
This coverage planning will enable the operator to roll out 5G services quickly once the government awards 5G spectrum later this year.
“5G coverage planning has been completed for 1,000 top cities across the country. Jio has been doing trials on advanced use cases across Healthcare and Industrial Automation on its 5G network,” Jio said in a statement.
Jio said that it is now testing the rollout of its 5G services in India using various services including heat maps, 3D maps and ray-tracing technology. “Data driven network planning for Jio’s 5G network is underway based on targeted customer consumption and revenue using Heat maps, 3D maps and ray tracing technology for precise coverage planning to target high consumption and high perception locations,” the company said.
Jio is currently testing its own indigenously developed 5G RAN and Core technologies.
Indian telecom operators have recently submitted comments to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) asking the government to cut the reserve price for 5G spectrum.
Operators are saying that the reserve price for the 5G spectrum needs to be cut down by more than 90% for the upcoming spectrum auction, with no upfront payment and a moratorium of 5-6 years.
In 2018, Trai had recommended a reserve price of INR 4.92 billion (currently $66.5 million) per megahertz for the 3.3-3.6 GHz band.
According to previous reports, India plans to award bands such as 700 MHz, 800 MHz, 900 MHz, 1.8 GHz, 2.1 GHz, 2.3 GHz, 2.5 GHz and 3.3-3.6 GHz bands. Through the spectrum auction, operators will be also able to bid for spectrum in the millimeter-wave band.
The government of India expects local operators to launch 5G service in some parts of the country by mid-August 2022, local newspaper Business Standard recently reported.
According to the report, a source with knowledge of the matter said that a limited 5G launch is possible by that date if the country’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) provides clarity around available spectrum. The report also said the Indian telecom industry needs to be given an assurance that the reserve price for 5G spectrum would be reduced.
The Indian government is expected to award frequencies for the provision of 5G services in April or May 2022, the country’s Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw recently said. Vaishnaw said that the Trai, which looks at the structure of auctions, is undergoing consultations on the matter.