5G Services Rolled Out in 329 Cities Across All Licensed Service Areas: MoS Devusinh Chauhan

5G services have been rolled out across 329 cities spread across all licensed service areas, Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.

Population-scale solutions are being tested on Indian 4G/5G indigenous stacks across the platforms such as healthcare, agriculture, smart manufacturing, education, gaming, and drones, Minister of State for Communications, Devusinh Chauhan said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.

“5G services have been rolled out in 329 cities distributed across all Licensed Service Areas (LSAs),” Chauhan pointed out.

The Center for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd (RJIL) have developed an indigenous 4G/5G technology stack. The Proof of Concept of C-DoT’s 4G technology stack has been successfully carried out in the BSNL network.

“RJIL’s stack is being extensively deployed in rolling out of its 5G network. These indigenous technology stacks may be exported to other countries in future,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, to another question, Communications Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said BSNL’s 5G services would be provided after rollout of 4G services all over India.

BSNL floated a tender on October 2022 for 1 lakh 4G sites. The bid was opened on November 23, 2022.

“The evaluation of the bid has been concluded and is under submission for approval of the Group of Ministers (GoM). 4G services will be started all over India including Maharashtra and Andaman and Nicobar Islands, within 18-24 months after placing the Purchase Order,” Vaishnaw said.

Replying to a question on the merger of BSNL and MTNL, MoS Chauhan said that the Cabinet, while approving the revival package for Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) on July 27, 2022, had approved formation of a Committee of Secretaries (CoS) for detailed examination to resolve matters of Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) including merger of MTNL with BSNL.

To another question on OTT communications sevices, Chauhan mentioned that the draft Indian Telecommunication Bill, 2022 released for public consultation in September, refers to ‘OTT communication services’ as a type of telecommunication service.

“The policy objective is that all forms of telecommunication, which include OTT communication services, need to be covered under the ambit of law. The draft Telecommunication Bill, will undergo further revision based on comments/suggestions received during the public consultation,” Chauhan said. 

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