Telecom provider Vodafone Idea (Vi) has conducted 5G small cell tests in Bengaluru's Namma Metro, as part of the ongoing 5G small cell trial that TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) has piloted. During the trial it demonstrated a 5G download speed of 1.2Gbps on a mobile handset.
Small cells are primarily used for enhancing network coverage, be it inside the buildings or in congested areas and 5G small cells are expected to play a pivotal role in making 5G accessible for common users. The regulator selected the telco for the test that is aimed at making cross-sectoral infrastructure more accessible for the 5G rollout.
The trial took place at the MG Road Station, Bengaluru. However, the company has not mentioned the spectrum that was utilised during the trial.
During the trial, 5G coverage was checked on the road level, platform, Concourse area, and tracks on both sides. The data that has been generated during the trials will be used for 5G deployment in other metro rails in the country.
The learnings of this project will be used for 5G deployments in other Metro Rails in the country, the telco said in a statement.
As such, this is not the only trial that Vodafone Idea is conducting on the use of street furniture for small cells. The telco has also deployed small cells on street furniture in Bhopal Smart City, IGI Airport, Delhi, and Kandla Port in Gujarat, along with testing Aerial Fibre Deployment in these locations.
Vodafone Idea also demonstrated a range of 5G-based technology solutions and use cases as part of its 5G trials on government-allocated trial spectrum in Pune, Maharashtra and Gandhinagar, Gujarat. During these trials a top 5G speed of 5.92 Gbps was achieved in Pune, in May this year.
Since the 5G spectrum auction is underway in India, it is time for the country to get ready at the infrastructure level so as to ensure that a proper 5G network experience can be delivered to the consumers as well as enterprise clients. TRAI had started conducting these tests to gather necessary data from different parts of the country that can be used by the telcos while deploying small cells on street furniture to provide 5G in future.
In a June 2022 report, Swedish telecom gear maker, Ericsson said that it expects 500 million 5G mobile phone users in India by 2027, accounting for nearly 40% of total customer base.