Earlier this month The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) gave a go-ahead to telecom companies to undertake 5G trials in India. DoT has encouraged the telecom service providers (TSP)s to use the 5Gi technology, in the ongoing 5G trials.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has directed the Cellular Operations Authority of India (COAI) to assess the homegrown 5G standard or 5Gi and to lay out its pros and cons.
The COAI has also been directed to assess the acceptability of the Indian standard by telcos as well as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), according to an online report.
What is 5Gi?
It is basically a Made in India 5G standard created through a joint collaboration between IIT Hyderabad and Madras (Chennai). The network standard has already got the nod from the International Communication Union (ITU), which does not dish out approvals easily.
Only three standards have gotten clearance from ITU to date. Reports say that 5Gi will operate on the same bands and spectrum as the regular 5G network. In fact, many say that it uses millimetre wave technology to provide high-speed internet connectivity.
5Gi offers more range at a lower frequency, which is the opposite of 5G. The latter works between the 700 MHz to 52,000 MHz bands and sacrifices on range.
Theoretically, 5Gi can work with lower-end spectrum bands, which would make it more cost-effective.
cons and pro for 5Gi
- Experts say that using the 5Gi standard will allow telcos in the country to widen the 5G connectivity net to villages.
- said to be cost-effective as a technology, which can be beneficial if implemented at a large scale by the operators in the country
- Not only does 5Gi promise fast internet connectivity but also helps in improving mobile coverage.
- the made in India 5G standard can also be cost-effective if implemented on a large scale by telecom operators.
- The existing setup will have to be re-engineered to support the 5Gi standard. And that will cost them a lot of money once again.
- Incompatibility with handset which use traditional 5g as of now
- Telecom body in the country claims that it cannot work with the global 5G standard that is based on the 3GPP technology.
- After all, they have spent millions on upgrading their network to offer 5G connectivity. And now, out of the blue, the country is considering switching to 5Gi, a local standard.
Will regular 5G phones support 5Gi network?
yes, that is definitely a concern for the end consumer. Most brands have started offering 5G devices in the market and people are buying them. If 5Gi does come, chances are these phones will not be compatible with local bands for 5G.
This means people will have to consider buying a new 5G phone. So, unless technology advances to allow 5G and 5Gi to work in tandem, we could be in for a challenging situation in the near future.
As of now, COAI and other telecom representatives have been directed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to study the effect and shortcomings of using the 5Gi standard.
The telecom authority also wants COAI to check with the possible use of 5Gi by telcos and handset makers. Whether they find it feasible to make the move.
Will have to wait to see what the government will come out with since is imperative that the government finalises the move, either in favour or against the use of 5Gi.