5G is still to show up in India. Many other countries are having 5G, the Indian government is still to auction the spectrum that will be used for 5G network. We all would wonder about why is there so much delay? According to some reports the nation is looking to fit in a locally designed 5Gi network, which has been developed by IIT Hyderabad and IIT Madras.
What is 5Gi?
5Gi is mainly a Made in India 5G network generated from an alliance among IIT Madras and IIT Hyderabad. It has already got a “approval” from the International Communication Union (ITU). Only three standards have gotten clearance from ITU till the date. It is known that 5Gi standard will function in the same bands and spectrum as the regular 5G network. It is also assumed that 5Gi using millimeter wave technology will deliver faster internet connectivity.
5Gi is supposed to give more range at a lower frequency unlike regular 5G. The latter works between 700 MHz to 52,000 MHz bands and underperform on range. Supposedly 5Gi may work at lower-end spectrum bands, which will make it more lucrative.
Experts say that using the 5Gi standard will help grow the 5G connectivity village areas. The rural internet standard has always been behind the urban setup, but 5Gi can help to bring down the between the speed of 5Gi in and rural areas of the nation. With this benefit, 5Gi might also help in improving mobile coverage.
What are the Challenges of 5Gi?
The news of 5Gi has come as a shock to telecom companies in the country. They have subsequently spent a huge sum of money for upgrading their network to 5G. And then out of nowhere the nation is considering 5Gi. In due course, if India goes with 5Gi, this will cost the telecom companies a lot of money once more.
But that is not the case. Telecom body in the country claims that 5Gi cannot work with the global 5G standard that is based on the 3GPP technology. The Cellular Operations Authority of India believes that moving from 5G to 5Gi will be cost-intensive and most likely make the local bands incompatible with the global network right now. So, all signs suggest moving to 5Gi might not be a good idea.
Will India prefer 5Gi or 5G?
The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) and other telecom representatives have been engaged by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to look over the result and inadequacies of using the 5Gi standard. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India also wants the Cellular Operators Association of India to study the use of 5Gi by telecom companies and phone makers and if they find it practicable to decide.
Thus, beforehand the country begins a 5G auction, it is vital that the government make the move, either in favor or counter to the use of 5Gi.
What do Airtel, Jio and Vi have to say on 5Gi?
Previously, Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone Idea (Vi) wanted 5Gi to be compatible with the global standard. However, things have altered. While Jio still supports the idea of using 5Gi for its network, Airtel is not clear about diverting to the network which is going to be highly expensive. Jio says that if vendors like Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung can offer 5Gi-compatible hardware at a low cost, it is willing switch.
Airtel’s disagreement to consider moving from 5G to 5Gi is logical. The Indian telecom sector is in an unwell condition, which is why most telecoms have delayed 5G launch. Vodafone Idea also says that “the price of getting a 5G spectrum needs to come down. Or else, the dream of 5G in India will take longer than anyone can imagine.”
For last, most companies have offered 5G mobile phones. But if 5Gi rolls out, these phones might not be compatible with local bands for 5G. This means people will have to consider buying a new 5G phone which will support 5Gi network. Hence, until this problem is being faced, we might be in a problematic situation. Whatever is the situation, the improvement in the network might be seen soon.