Vodafone Idea, Nokia test 5G in rural India

Vodafone Idea, Nokia test 5G in rural India

Indian telecom operator Vodafone Idea (Vi) and its technology partner, Nokia, announced that it has successfully conducted a 5G trial.

The trial utilized 5G in the 3.5GHz spectrum band allocated by the Government for 5G trials to provide rural broadband connectivity in Gandhinagar in the state of Gujarat.

The trial was held across an area of 17.1km, and stands as a way to showcase an alternative solution to fibre-based broadband internet solutions that require the laying of optical fiber cables, said a press release from the pan-India integrated GSM operator with its headquarters based in Mumbai and Gandhinagar.

Using Nokia’s solution, Vi successfully provided 5G connectivity across an area covering the entire 17.1 km while delivering more than 100Mbps during the trails.

This 5G trial by Vi, along with Nokia, supports the Indian Government’s Digital India vision of providing reliable and high-speed connectivity in rural areas, said the release.

Vi uses Nokia’s AirScale radio portfolio and Microwave E-band solution for the trial that supports enterprises, large and small and medium businesses, with reliable connectivity, it added.

Sanjay Malik, senior VP and head of the India market for Nokia, stated upon the Gandhinagar trial, “Our Fixed Wireless Access 5G solution is enabling service providers, like Vodafone Idea, to extend 5G coverage to remote areas, plug coverage gaps and increase service levels in rural areas.”

Jagbir Singh, CTO of Vodafone Idea Limited, said upon the trial, “Accelerated digitisation over the past two years has led to a growing dependency on high-speed broadband and urgency to connect the unconnected. Vi GigaNet is enabling users in urban and rural areas, as well as enterprises. With our 5G ready network and our partner Nokia’s field-proven solution, we are now working on providing use cases based on high speed 5G coverage in rural areas.”

Nokia India tweeted last week: “Together with Vi, we achieved 9.85 Gbps of backhaul capacity using E-band microwave in 80 GHz spectrum, unlocking the potential of deploying 5G." The high-frequency zone of the E band is expected to match transmission levels of optical fibres.

In September, Vi claimed to have attained a peak speed of 3.7Gbps, the highest by any operator, during 5G trials in Pune.

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