Samsung ready for 5G trials; says India will come up with local 5G use cases

Korean telecom gear maker Samsung said India will come up with its own 5G specific use cases that could be applicable to other markets and it will ensure that those use cases are supported by the company.

“Government as part of the 5G forum included many of other partners who are focusing on identifying specific use cases [for India]. We just want to make sure the technology is available to support any of these uses cases,” Srini Sundarajan, Samsung India Senior Vice President and Head (Network Business), told ET in a recent interaction.

India has some different sets of needs and the focus of the government is to develop 5G use cases around farming, education and next-gen manufacturing.

“Education is something we are working with Japan that will be very useful for India… there are many use cases which have a lot of societal value and that could also play a big part on the 5G rollout,” he said.

Sundarajan said that the company is working with the telecom department to help devise the 5G roadmap for the country. “Our goal primarily is to work with the DoT and ensure that we are able to show the value of 5G to all relevant people in government and partners of the government,” he added.

The Narendra Modi government aims to kickstart the deployment of ultra-high speed 5G networks in the country by 2020.

The company said that it is ready for 5G field trials in India, and is awaiting clarity from the telecom department (DoT). “We agreed that we will do trials with the government. But the clarity has to come from the government on various things.”

Samsung said that it is ready to support 5G services on both 3.5Ghz and 26-28Ghz in India. 5G services using the mid-band or 3.5GHz will power use cases such as surveillance, smart city, and smart factories among others. Fixed wireless access (FWA) could become one of the main use cases of 5G using the 28Ghz band, Sundarajan said.

In India, Samsung is the sole 4G equipment provider for Jio’s pan-India network and is also a technology provider for the telco’s narrowband IoT network.

“We are agnostic since we have commercial deployments on both sides. We are opening up and showing these use cases. Depending upon where the interest comes both from government and operators, we will drive those use cases,” Sundarajan said.

The much-anticipated 5G field trials have hit the policy roadblock with the department of telecom (DoT) wireless planning and coordination wing (WPC) averse to allocating airwaves beyond 90 days, which according to industry, would not serve any purpose.

On February 25, the department has formed a committee with representation from the academia, industry and the government, to make recommendations related to licensing for carrying out 5G pilots, and also asked for the quantum, size, price and other aspects for offering experimental spectrum.

The telecom department had previously invited vendors like Ericsson, Samsung, Nokia, Huawei, and Cisco to conduct 5G field trials in the country and test use cases. The department is expected to provide 100MHz of spectrum for these field trials in the country, along with the backhaul support.

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