Vodafone Idea (Vi) and Nokia announced on Wednesday they had successfully conducted a trial of 5G connectivity in a rural area in Gujarat.
In a press release, the companies said the trial utilised 5G in the 3.5GHz spectrum band allocated by the government to provide rural broadband connectivity in Gandhinagar.
"Using Nokia’s solution, Vi successfully trialled providing 5G connectivity across an area covering 17.1km while delivering speeds of more than 100Mbps," the press release said. Vi is using Nokia’s AirScale radio portfolio and Microwave E-band solution for the trial that support enterprises, both large and small and medium businesses.
Jagbir Singh, Chief Technology Officer, Vi, said "Vi GIGAnet, India’s fastest network, is enabling users in urban and rural areas, and enterprises, to stay ahead in this digital era. With our 5G ready network and our partner Nokia's, field-proven solution, we are now working on providing solutions and use cases based on high-speed 5G coverage in rural areas."
Sanjay Malik, senior vice president and head of India Market, Nokia, said "Our Fixed Wireless Access 5G solution is enabling service providers, like Vodafone Idea, to extend 5G coverage to remote areas, plug coverage gaps and increase service levels in rural areas."
In a tweet last week, Nokia India had said, “Together with Vi, we achieved 9.85 Gbps of backhaul capacity using E-band microwave in 80 GHz spectrum, unlocking the potential of deploying 5G." The high-frequency zone of E band is expected to match transmission levels of optical fibres.
In September, Vi claimed to have attained a peak speed of 3.7Gbps, the highest by any operator, during 5G trials in Pune.