Ericsson in advance talks with Indian telcos to ink 5G pact

Government has also formed a high-level forum to guide the country to start 5G service by 2020.

New Delhi: Swedish telecom gear maker Ericsson on Friday said it is in advance talks with some leading telecom operators in India over 5G technology and expect to sign MoU with them within six months.

"We are in advance stages of discussion with some of Indian telecom operators and expect to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with them in six months," Ericsson India Country Manager Nitin Bansal told reporters here.

He said India has witnessed a massive surge in data traffic over the past 12-18 months and the trend is expected to continue.

The government has also formed a high-level forum to guide the country to start 5G service by 2020, a technology that will deliver wireless broadband speed of about 10,000 mbps in urban areas and 1,000 mbps in rural belts.

Ericsson Head of Strategy, Business Area Networks, Christian Hedelin said the early deployment of 5G is expected to take place during Olympics in South Korea, fixed wireless network in North America.

"Large scale field trials will happen in China in next 12-18 months," Hedelin said. Telecom Minister Manoj Sinha has said that India will be among those few countries that will be in position to launch 5G services by 2020.

As per the Ericsson Mobility Report, June 2017, data usage levels are expected to increase from the current 4GB per smartphone per month to about 11 GB per smartphone per month in 2022.

"World over, we are seeing demand for reduction in cost per gigabit and deployment of massive Internet of things solution. Besides these, in India we are seeing demand for these as well as massive mimo technology where spectrum efficiency can be enhanced by 4-6 times," Hedelin said.

He said limiting factor for 5G deployment is development of device ecosystem and suitable device are expected to be available by the end of 2019.

"From that stage to getting to large scale affordable device segment will take another year or so. But I think, we don't push the technology for technology sake. There is a still lot left that 4G network can do. The industry should not stress," Hedelin said.

Ericsson has signed 5G collaboration agreements with over 30 operators, 20 industry partners and 45 universities and institutes around the world, including IIT Delhi.

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