India’s indigenous 5G will reduce reliance on foreign vendors: minister

india 5G
Image credit: ranjith ravindran |

India’s Communications and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that the country’s indigenously developed 5G stack will be the “first virtualized 5G stack in the world”, and will reduce dependence on foreign vendors.

 “We are taking the lead in telecom,” Vaishnaw said at the MeitY’s Azadi Ka Digital Mahotsav event. “Now we can think of manufacturing at a different scale because the world will move towards ecosystems where our companies will be managing telecom networks across the world.”

 “The core to bringing indigenous 5G is to shun dependence on foreign companies, and the Prime Minister has a vision that we should develop our own 5G technology, and that it can be deployed worldwide, ” Vaishnaw added.

Various government-owned and home-bred telecom gear makers and IT companies are involved in developing their respective 5G solutions, including radio and core technologies among others.

Sterlite, Tejas Networks, HFCL, Sankhya Lab, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), C-DoT and ITI Limited are working on their 5G products and solutions.

Reliance Jio, India’s top telecom operator has also developed its own 5G stack with the help of its sister companies like Radysys. The telco is currently piloting its 5G core and radio networks in the country.

Vaishnaw on Thursday said that by the second quarter of next year, the 5G auction process and 5G network rollouts will start accordingly.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India kicked off the process of setting base prices of ten spectrum bands earmarked for offering 5G services. These bands include spectrum in the 700 MHz, 600 MHz, 3.5 GHz and millimeter-wave frequencies.

The Indian government is planning to auction 5G spectrum in April-May 2022.

In its consultation paper, TRAI said that spectrum unsold amounts to spectrum wasted, hence it sought stakeholder views to fix a saleable price for spectrum. The regulator is open to methodology, which is being followed elsewhere globally to properly value the “precious natural asset”.

“DoT informed that there is a need to strike a balance between revenue generation from the auction on one hand, long term growth/ sustainability of the telecom sector, introduction of new services/ technologies, on the other,” the regulator said last week.

Separately, Vaishnaw told an Indian TV news channel: “5G development is progressing fast. For 5G deployments, TRAI has already issued a consultation process. Once the consultation process is completed and parameters for auction are ready, then soon in the second quarter of the coming year, the auction and rollout will be started.”

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