India: 5G to be ushered in using 'street furniture'

The pilot study will help the regulator in setting up guidelines



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A Staff Reporter

Published: Sat 19 Mar 2022, 9:26 AM

‘Street furniture’ including electric poles, street lights, park benches, billboards, traffic signs, bus stops, taxi stands, public toilets and post boxes is likely to herald India into the 5G era.

The telecom regulator has identified Delhi airport, ‘smart’ city Bhopal, the Bangalore metro and Kandla port in Gujarat for pilot tests for the ambitious project.

Using ‘street furniture’ will obviate challenges including digging roads and public places. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is taking up these projects along with all the top operators including state-owned BSNL, Vodafone Idea, Reliance and Airtel in the four cities.

Micro towers that will be deployed will have a coverage area ranging from a mere 10m to a few kilometres. The pilot study will help the regulator in setting up guidelines for the use of street furniture and also develop a regulatory framework for the roll-out of 5G.

The Kerala State Electricity Board had recently proposed using electric poles to deploy 5G equipment. “The initiative from the Kerala board is well appreciated,” Tilak Raj Dua, director-general, Digital Infrastructure Providers Association, told the media. “They have come forward to share their infrastructure with the industry, which is going to help the state in deployment of 5G using small cells.”

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Over a dozen Indian cities are likely to get 5G services by the end of this year, according to the telecom industry. They include Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Pune.


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