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BSNL ties up with Softbank, NTT for 5G, IoT deal

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MUMBAI: BSNL, a mobile service provider, has tied up with two top telecom operators of Japan, Softbank and NTT Communications, to roll out 5G and internet of things (IoT) technology in India, according to a report by the Press Trust of India.

The service provider will partner with Softbank for its satellite constellation which will have around 900 satellites to provide high speed internet services across the globe.

BSNL chairman and MD Anupam Shrivastava said, “We have signed agreement with Softbank and NTT Communications to roll out 5G and IoT products and services in India. Under the agreement, we will look at solutions specifically for smart cities.”

Indian telecom operators are aiming to launch 5G in 2020. Operators such as Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone launched 3G seven years after the technology was available in other foreign markets and 4G services after a four-year lag.

BSNL has signed an agreement with Finland-based telecom equipment maker Nokia and US-based enterprise networking company Cisco Systems for developing 5G ecosystem and working to finalise test cases for using 5G in India.

BSNL is in advance stages of starting 5G field trials. The government is in agreement to provide 5G spectrum for trials.

Earlier media reports said that the Indian government will not auction 5G spectrum in 2018 or 2019 due to weak financial conditions in the Indian telecom market.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recommended auction of about 8,644 MHz of telecom frequencies at an estimated base price of Rs 4.9 lakh crore. The government is yet to finalise details of allocation of spectrum for 5G services.

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