Adoption of India-specific 5G radio interface technology is also likely to be opposed as it could impede interoperability
Telecom companies will approach the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to dissuade adoption of India-specific 5G standards as this could increase cost of 5G phones by 30-40 percent and impact business in the country.
Telcos will soon write to the DoT urging adoption of International Telecom Union (ITU) approved 5G network standards instead to leverage the global 5G ecosystem and ensure affordability, said a report by The Economic Times.
Besides the standards, adoption of India-specific 5G radio interface technology (RIT) as proposed by the Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI) is also likely to be opposed as it could impede interoperability for overseas Indian users and foreigners, a top telco executive said as per the report.
Moneycontrol could not immediately verify the report.
Explaining the cost angle, the executive said that manufacturers would have to design and make Indian phones separately to adhere to country-specific standards which would increase cost and lower volume of production.
TSDSI Chairman Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi however told the paper there is “nothing to suggest major cost impact associated with the proposed enhancement” as it is only software related.
The proposed standards include deploying 5G in 3.4 GHz band and fixing inter-site distance (ISD) between mobile towers at 12 km; as against 3GPPP’s 5G standards – cleared by the ITU – which promotes 700 MHz band and 6 km ISD.
But Ramamurthi pointed out that TSDSI is a partner of jointly-owned 3GPP, adding: “Both 3GPP-only and TSDSI-compliant phones cost nearly the same and will also coexist and interoperate in networks all over the world.”
Telcos however argue the TSDSI’s standards would not meet performance criteria in rural India, which Ramamurthi refutes claiming that 6 km ISD would provide coverage to around 60 percent villages, while 12 km ISD ensures 95 percent coverage.The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) did not respond to queries, the report added.