Reliance Jio has commenced 5G trials in Mumbai as it races with rival Bharti Airtel to introduce the mobile technology in India. While Jio’s trials in Mumbai are being carried out using indigenously developed technology, the company has tied up with multinational vendors, including Ericsson, Nokia, and Samsung for trials in Delhi, Pune, and Gujarat.

What

  1. The Department of Telecommunications had in May allocated 5G trial spectrum in 700-megahertz (MHz), 3.2-3.6-gigahertz (GHz), and 24.25-28.5-GHz bands to Airtel, Jio, and Vodafone Idea to develop India-specific use-cases.
  2. Jio is using standalone 5G architecture for its trials and this will include testing of core and radio network for peak speed, latency, and data loads.
  3. Tests in other cities will commence soon and will need to be completed in six months, according to the spectrum licence conditions.
  4. Last year, the Mukesh Ambani-led company had tied up with Qualcomm to develop open and interoperable interface-compliant.
  5. 5G solutions and had achieved 1 gigabits per second (Gbps) download speed during the tests.

What is spectrum?

  1. Devices such as cellphones and wireline telephones require signals to connect from one end to another. These signals are carried on airwaves, which must be sent at designated frequencies to avoid any kind of interference.
  2. The Union government owns all the publicly available assets within the geographical boundaries of the country, which also include airwaves.
  3. To sell these assets to companies willing to set up the required infrastructure to transport these waves from one end to another, the central government through the DoT auctions these airwaves from time to time.
  4. These airwaves are called spectrum, which is subdivided into bands which have varying frequencies.
  5. All these airwaves are sold for a certain period of time after which their validity lapses, which is generally set at 20 years.