The government on Wednesday informed Parliament that introduction of 5G services in the country will depend on equipment, device ecosystem and economic considerations by telecom operators.
The government also said that state-owned BSNL and MTNL have not planned introducing 5G services yet on their networks.
Minister of State for Telecommunications Sanjay Dhotre, in a written reply to a question on the 5G rollout, said, "5G services depend on 5G equipment and device ecosystem, and economic considerations by the telecom service providers." In response to a question on the warning over data theft and national security, Dhotre said the US has intimated about the use of 5G clean path to protect the data and networks of US diplomatic facilities.
The 5G clean path is an end-to-end communication path that does not use any equipment from untrusted vendors.
"To address security concerns of telecom network, security conditions are incorporated in the licence conditions of telecom service providers. The National Centre for Communication Security (NCCS), Bengaluru has also been established and has been entrusted with the task of preparation of Indian telecom security assurance requirements," Dhotre said.
Responding to a separate query with regard to 5G rollout, the minister said that 5G services have not been rolled out in the country as yet and the state-run telecom firms BSNL and MTNL have informed the government that they have not yet planned introduction of 5G services on their networks. Globally, over 100 telecom networks have adopted 5G technology.
In India, telecom operators applied for spectrum to start 5G trials in August 2019 but the Department of Telecom (DoT) is yet to allocate radiowaves.
Dhotre said that the DoT had in March 2018 approved a multi-institute collaborative project to set up indigenous 5G test bed at a total cost of Rs 224 crore.
The collaborating institutes include IIT Madras, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IISc Bangalore, Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering & Research (SAMEER) and Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT). The project envisages setting up of an end to-end open 5G test bed in a distributed architecture model, and it will enable Indian academia and industry to validate their products, prototypes and algorithms, Dhotre said.
It will also provide facilities for experimenting and demonstrating 5G applications, he said.
Recently, Reliance Jio also announced development of indigenous 5G technology products, Dhotre said.
Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel submitted fresh applications for field trials in July but they are yet to get the spectrum.