5G services have been rolled out in 329 cities spread across all licensed coverage areas, Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.
Population-scale solutions are being tested on India’s 4G/5G stacks on platforms such as healthcare, agriculture, smart manufacturing, education, gaming and drones, said Devusinh Chauhan, Minister of State for Communications, in a written response in the Lok Sabha.
“5G services have been rolled out in 329 cities spread across all Licensed Service Areas (LSAs),” Chauhan said.
The Center for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL) have developed their own 4G/5G technology stack. The proof of concept of C-DoT’s 4G technology stack has been successfully performed on the BSNL network.
“RJIL’s stack will be used extensively in the rollout of its 5G network. These native technology stacks can be exported to other countries in the future,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, in response to another question, Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said that BSNL’s 5G services would be provided after the rollout of 4G services across India.
BSNL published a tender for 1 lakh 4G sites in October 2022. The offer was opened on November 23, 2022.
“The evaluation of the offer has been completed and will be submitted to the Group of Ministers (GoM) for approval. 4G services will be launched across India, including Maharashtra and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, within 18 to 24 months of order placement,” Vaishnaw said.
In response to a question regarding the merger of BSNL and MTNL, MoS Chauhan replied that in approving the revival package for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on 27 July 2022, the Cabinet approved the formation of a Committee of Secretaries (CoS) for detailed consideration to resolve matters by Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL), including the merger of MTNL with BSNL.
In response to another question on OTT communications services, Chauhan mentioned that the draft of India’s Telecoms Act 2022, released for public consultation in September, refers to “OTT communications services” as a type of telecommunications service.
“The policy objective is that all forms of telecommunications, including OTT communication services, must fall under the scope of the law. The draft Telecoms Act will be subject to further revision based on the comments/suggestions received during the public consultation,” Chauhan said.