India is in discussions with South Korea, a global leader in telecom technologies, for jointly setting up 5G test laboratories.
"The telecom ministry is in discussion with South Korea to collaborate in the field of telecommunications including setting up of 5G test laboratories," an official source told PTI.
South Korea has led the world for many years in development of advanced telecom technologies. The country was ranked second in information communications technology index for 2017 by the International Telecommunication Union, while India was at the 134th position.
Over 90 per cent of households in South Korea have access to over 1,000-megabit per second broadband speed service, according to ITU.
"Initiative of partnering South Korea was taken by the telecom minister (Manoj Sinha) during his visit to Mobile World Congress in Spain. There is plan to sign a memorandum of understanding between both countries in the field of telecom," the source said.
According to industry estimates, South Korea is likely to be among the early starters of 5G services. Telecom operators in South Korea have already conducted trial runs of 5G technologies during the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics.
"The minister (Sinha) has already committed that India will be among early starters of 5G. Partnership with South Korea will help India expedite its plan for 5G roll out," the source said.According to industry players and experts, India is likely to see rollout of 5G services after standards for the technology are finalised by ITU in 2019.