Telcos are far behind the target of 10,000 5G sites each week

The top two carriers have so far only been able to install around a third of the weekly objective, meaning that telecom service providers are still far from fulfilling the government’s goal of installing 10,000 5G base stations per week.

To ensure that 5G services are available as soon as possible, telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw instructed carriers to increase the installation of 5G cell sites from 2,500 per week last month to 10,000.

Industry leaders stated that the weekly rollout of 3,500 5G sites is consistent with the availability of telecom network equipment suppliers. To satisfy demand, production capacity is being increased, they added.

Since launching the 5G services in eight cities at the beginning of October, Airtel has added over 1 million new customers.

Reliance Jio, the largest telecom carrier in India, launched its 5G services early this month through an invite-only test launch in significant metro areas. Jio expanded 5G connectivity to Hyderabad and Bengaluru last week. Nokia and Ericsson, producers of network equipment, announced that they were growing local production to satisfy demand. According to executives, the local production capabilities of the European gear providers were able to meet more than 95% of the requirements for 5G telecom equipment from the telecom service providers.

Along with exports, Nokia India’s Chennai factory satisfies domestic demand for network equipment. To increase its ability to produce locally, Ericsson India has partnered with contract manufacturer Jabil Circuits. However, some industry sources claimed that because more production lines need to be installed, setting up 10,000 sites a week could take some time.

10,000 base stations every week is a feasible goal, according to the government, and the department of telecommunications was offering all necessary assistance.

To be sure, carriers must adhere to the rollout requirements outlined in the government-issued licence conditions for any technology or service. By the end of the first year following the date of the licence, the DoT has established the coverage of 10% of district headquarters or towns in non-metros and 40% of a metro area. Jio uses the 700 MHz frequency for 5G standalone or SA.

The commercial launch of 5G services for the 3.5 GHz band, which Airtel is using for 5G non-standalone or NSA, must occur in one town in a non-metro area and anywhere in a metro area by the end of the first year after getting the licence.