Bharti Airtel, in partnership with Nokia, conducts India’s first 5G trial in the 700 MHz band

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Bharti Airtel, India’s premier communications solutions provider, on Thursday, announced that it has successfully conducted India’s first 5G trial in the 700 MHz band in partnership with Nokia. 

The companies were able to achieve high-speed wireless broadband network coverage of 40 kilometers between two 3GPP standard 5G sites in real-life conditions by leveraging the enhanced propagation characteristics of the 700 MHz band. Airtel used equipment from Nokia’s 5G portfolio, which included Nokia AirScale radios and standalone (SA) core.

“Back in 2012, Airtel launched India’s first 4G service in Kolkata. Today, we are delighted conduct India’s first 5G demo in the coveted 700 MHz band in the city to showcase the power of this technology standard. We believe that with the right pricing of 5G spectrum in the upcoming auctions, India can unlock the digital dividend and build a truly connected society with broadband for all.”

Randeep Singh Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel said

The government’s Department of Telecommunications has allotted Airtel, the test spectrum in multiple bands for the validation of 5G technology and use cases. The demonstration conducted on the outskirts of Kolkata was the first 5G trial in Eastern India.

“5G deployment using 700Mhz spectrum is helping communications service providers across the world to cost-effectively provide mobile broadband in remote areas, where typically it is challenging for them to set up the network infrastructure. Nokia is at the forefront in the development of the global 5G ecosystem, and we look forward to supporting Airtel on its 5G journey.”

Naresh Asija, VP and Head of Bharti CT, Nokia

Airtel is leading the game with its initiatives to build 5G solutions in India. It is co-working with companies such as Accenture, AWS, CISCO, Ericsson, Google Cloud, Nokia, TCS and has announced the partnership with various big firms. It demonstrated India’s first 5G experience over a live 4G network earlier this year. It also demonstrated India’s first rural 5G trial as well as the first cloud gaming experience on 5G.

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