Samsung plans to conduct 5G field trials in India by Q1 of next year

Visitors at the India Mobile Congress 2018 in Delhi
South Korean telecom giant Samsung is planning to conduct 5G field trials in the country by the first quarter of next year. 

The trials are likely to be held in Delhi, and for the purpose, the company is working closely with the Department of telecommunications (DoT).

Samsung India senior vice-president and head (network business) Srinivasan Sundararajan said the trails will be done for technology and use cases that are already available commercially. 

Asked if the company is in talks with any telecom operator for the trials, Sundararajan said Reliance Jio is its prime partner. He, however, did not comment if the partnership with Jio will only be for trials.

“For us, Jio will always remain the prime partner. Today, all our discussions are with Jio. It is our sole partner and we are its sole partner. This partnership has been successful for both of us,” Sundararajan said.

DoT has approached companies, including Nokia, Samsung, Ericsson, Huawei and Cisco, among others, for development of 5G applications and for conducting trails. The government is expected to allocate spectrum to the operators for field trails, which will allow consumers to experience 5G. 

Across the world, there are around 150 trails on 5G currently going on and India has lagged behind. The government has now formed a committee which will look exclusively at developing a model for conducting 5G field trails.

Samsung, which is the 4G equipment provider for Reliance Jio, has already commercially launched 5G in select cities in the US with Verizon. Samsung is also expected to launch commercial 5G services in Korea later this year. Asked if India will be ready for commercial roll out of 5G by 2020, Sundararajan said the country would be ready but not like 2G, which has got a nationwide coverage. 

“Certain use cases will drive the deployment of 5G. It will co-exist will 4G. It is not a 4G replacement,” he added.

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