US President Donald Trump discussed upcoming 5G technology with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, amid all other trade-related discussions which were brought on the table during his recently concluded visit to India.
In a press briefing, Trump said that he discussed the importance of a secure 5G wireless network. He also brought up that 5G should be a tool for freedom, progress, and prosperity. “5G doesn’t have anything to do to be conceived as a conduit for suppression and censorship,” Trump was quoted as saying by Livemint.
In parallel to Trump’s meetings with Modi, US Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai, on Monday (February 25), had also met Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) chairman Ram Sewak Sharma and telecom secretary Anshu Prakash. These officials held discussions on various issues regarding the telecom spectrum and 5G.
After the discussions, Pai had said that the US is already having an MoU with TRAI. “We emphasised that cooperative relationship has been very fruitful over the last three years and we expect it to be so,” Pai added.
On the other hand, Prakash said that they asked questions related to the technologies which the US is leveraging in its telecom operations. “We talked about how teledensity is progressing, which spectrum bands are they using, what they intend to do, what is the auction process, etc. We must work closely and work towards improving spectrum efficiency,” Prakash added.
Prakash also showcased US officials the low mobility large cell (LMLC) technology. LMLC is an indigenously developed technology which India is planning to use for its 5G operations.
Besides providing higher download and upload speeds over cellular networks, 5G promises lower latency and more stable connections with smart devices which will promote the usage of other technologies such as internet of things (IoT). It is expected that the 5G will bring significant advancements in many areas such as healthcare, education, agriculture, among others.
India Awaits 5G
Currently, the 5G development in India is restricted to telecom companies applying to become part of 5G trials. This will be followed by a spectrum auction and then infrastructure rollout. Conservative estimates say that 5G in India will only be rolled out by the middle of 2021 if telecom companies manage to get the infrastructure out.
Bharti Airtel has collaborated with Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson and Nokia for 5G trials in the country. Besides these companies, Reliance Jio has also partnered with Samsung and Vodafone Idea for 5G trials.
Moreover, Chinese smartphone brand Realme has launched India’s first 5G-enabled smartphone x50 Pro earlier this week. However, the question is what’s the point of such a phone, with 5G not even on the horizon in India.