Indian's telecom operators Vodafone India, Idea Cellular Ltd. and Reliance Jio are prepping networks for the expected 5G rollout in the country in 2020, The Economic Times (India) reported.
Currently, the companies are reportedly focused on incorporating massive MIMO technology into their respective networks, which is regarded as a key enabler for 5G networks.
Market leader Bharti Airtel Ltd. already has a headstart on massive MIMO deployment with the first round done in Bangalore and Kolkata, and cities like Pune, Hyderabad and Chandigarh in the pipeline.
Idea Cellular is in the "process of bringing massive MIMO on 4G in India," Himanshu Kapania, Idea Cellular managing director, told The ET. The company is reportedly trialing massive MIMO in several Indian cities.
The massive MIMO technology has been known to potentially increase spectrum efficiency by as much as five to seven times, reducing interference by a substantial amount and enhancing transmission signals to mobile devices.
Vishant Vora, director of technology at Vodafone Group Plc's Indian unit, reportedly said that the company is "bringing some of 5G technologies like massive MIMO into 4G and applying them."
Gear vendors such as Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., ZTE Corp., Ericsson AB and Nokia Corp. are working with telcos to test the technology in multiple circles. ZTE India is working on pre-5G trials with Airtel, Vodafone and Jio, as well as testing its 5G-ready products with Airtel and state-owned BSNL.