Airtel, Ericsson shift 5G trials to rural areas

Airtel, Ericsson shift 5G trials to rural areas

Bharti Airtel partnered with Ericsson to carry out what they claim was the first rural 5G network trial in India, reaching a peak throughput of 200Mb/s using a 3GPP-compliant 5G fixed wireless access (FWA) device.

In separate statements, the companies explained that speed was achieved at a distance of more than 10km from the site test, showing the technology can deliver high-speed broadband coverage even to remote locations.

The demo was conducted in a village on the outskirts of Delhi using trial 3.5GHz spectrum allocated by the Department of Telecoms and existing FDD spectrum. The operator said the results indicate its capability to use 5G for both capacity and coverage over its existing nationwide LTE infrastructure.

Airtel CTO Randeep Singh Sekhon said 5G will be a transformational technology for delivering broadband coverage to the last mile through use cases like FWA, and contribute to a more inclusive digital economy.

Nunzio Mirtillo, head of Ericsson South East Asia, Oceania and India, stated the demos shows how 5G can connect the unconnected in India, enable faster 5G rollout and help the country realise its Digital India vision.

In June, the operator achieved a peak throughput rate of more than 1Gb/s in a 5G trial on the 3.5GHz band in the city of Gurugram. It also used equipment from Ericsson.

India’s government in May cleared operators to conduct six-month 5G trials.


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