Vodafone Idea (VI) on Friday demonstrated a download speed of 4,100 Mpbs and upload speed of 217 Mbps during a 5G trial in Pune. The telecom operator is conducting 5G trials on government allocated 5G spectrum in Pune, Maharashtra and Gandhinagar, Gujarat. The spectrum was allocated for six months from May 2021 till November 2021 and has been extended till May next year or till 5G auction results. VI is now expanding the scope of the 5G trials and was looking at working with more technology partners, customers and startups.
VI was getting 5G ready and would be looking at participating in the county’s 5G plans and as part of the journey, they were working with all the ecosystem players, P Balaji, chief regulatory and corporate affairs officer, VI, said. The company did not share investments made so far or future 5G investment plans.
VI has been allocated 26 GHz and 3.5 GHz spectrum in the mmWave band by the DoT for 5G network trials and use cases. Vi has achieved peak speeds in excess of 1.5 Gbps on 3.5 GHz, more than 4.2 Gbps on 26 GHz and up to 9.8 Gbps on backhaul spectrum of E-bands during the trials.
VI chief technology officer, Jagbir Singh, said the company was also working with local 5G technology partners and as and when the products were ready they would be carrying out trials and deploying it. Around 30-35% of the VI sites have been fiberized and it is being increased in urban areas and for 5G it would be a combination of fibre and E band, Singh said.
VI showcased a range of 5G use cases with technology partners Ericsson and Nokia, L&T Smart World & Communication, Athonet and start-ups Vizzbee Robotics and Tweek Labs. VI worked with the Ericsson 5G network in Pune and with Nokia 5G network in Gandhinagar to show the possibilities that 5G unlocked for the country.
The company saw opportunities for 5G in automotive, IoT related applications for drones, connected health care, industry 4.0, education, smart agriculture, gaming amongst others.
For the 5G trial network set up n Pune, VI deployed Ericsson radios and Ericsson dual mode core based on cloud native technology comprising of 5G SA, 5G NSA & LTE packet core functions. All use cases demonstrated in Pune had been developed over Ericsson’s 5G technology solutions. In Gandhinagar, Vi is using Nokia’s AirScale radio portfolio and microwave E-band solution for the trial that support enterprises, both large and small and medium businesses with reliable connectivity. New revenue models too are also being looked at with technology partners and customers, the company said.