Nokia signs MoUs with Airtel, BSNL for setting up 5G in India
Airtel and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) could soon become 5G networks as they partner with Nokia to transform their networks. The Finnish company has signed a memorandum of understandings (MoU) with telcos Airtel and BSNL to transform their networks into 5G, according to an Economic Times report.
Sanjay Malik, Head of India market at Nokia in the report said that the thoughts behind these MoUs would be to introduce 5G in India, and what are the steps required for the same, besides identifying applications to define the target segment, which will be to compete 5G strategy for telcos.
He further said it is more of a preparatory phase for getting into 5G. The commercial launch of 5G technology is expected to take place around 2019-2020 globally.
Malik said that in India they will start field, content and application trials by around 2018. Nokia currently supplies 4G equipment for Airtel in nine circles including Gujarat, Bihar, UP East, Mumbai, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha, Punjab and Kerala. For BSNL, Nokia recently won the bid for its phase-8 expansion and is currently working on an advanced purchase order (APO) for the telecom operator.
Malik in the report said that BSNL is currently working on setting up the foundation for 5G. The government is planning to auction spectrum in bands over 3000 MHz.
Nokia is also creating an experience centre in Bengaluru within its research and development centre so that it can discover stakeholder requirements for 5G in India and to push its efforts towards the new technology for India.
Malik said that the idea behind partnering with the telcos in India is to try to discover what's more relevant for the local market and look at the possibility of rural connectivity, agricultural Internet of Things (IoT) which may be more relevant for the country.