Leading telecom operator, Vodafone Idea (Vi), is conducting a trial on use of street furniture for Small Cells and Aerial Fibre deployment at Namma Metro Bengaluru, as part of a pilot by TRAI. These pilots are aimed at making cross sectoral infrastructure more accessible for quick roll out of the 5G networks. Street furniture such as electric poles, bus stand, traffic lights etc. are being used for testing 5G small cells.
To test 5G readiness, TRAI has selected Vi to conduct trials at Namma Metro, Bengaluru as the main metro rail in the country. The trial targets 5G coverage at road level, in its Concourse area, platform and tracks on both sides. The learnings of this project will in-turn be used for 5G deployment in other Metro Rails in the country. In this pilot, Vi has demonstrated 5G download speed of 1.2Gbps on mobile handset at MG Road Station.
TRAI has been testing 5G readiness using small cell and aerial fiber in different locations across the country. Vi is also conducting trials on use of street furniture for Small Cells and Aerial Fibre deployment at Bhopal Smart City, New Delhi International Airport, Kandla Port in Gujarat.
Vi has demonstrated a range of 5G-based technology solutions and use cases as part of its 5G trials on Govt. allocated trial spectrum in Pune, Maharashtra and Gandhinagar, Gujarat earlier.
Small Cells are network equipments being deployed by Vi to enhance 4G network coverage and capacity. Trials are being conducted to test the equipment for 5G network deployments in the future. It uses higher frequencies’ spectrum to provide ultra-high broadband speed and are placed closer to user to provide quick responses to user’s request. As per TRAI, these pilots will be very helpful in making cross sectoral infrastructure more accessible for quick roll out of the 5G networks for Telcos, post allotment of 5G frequencies by DoT. Hundreds of 5G Small Cells are needed to be installed in a square kilometre of area to provide good coverage. Use of Street furniture already available at Metro Rail areas like poles etc. can be used for mounting these 5G Small Cells, obviating the need for erecting thousands of new towers. This will not only ensure faster deployment of 5G but also unlock true potential of underutilized street furniture at ports.