Vodafone Idea said it achieved speeds of over 4,000 Mbps during its test deployment of 5G on the trial spectrum handed over by Department of Telecom. In comparison, in the early days of 4G, the maximum speeds achieved were in the range of around 200 Mbps.
The company released two speedtest results — presumably using Ookla’s speedtest service — that showed download speeds in excess of 4,000 Mbps (see image).
The first instance, which shows a download speed of 4,110 Mbps, is from Pune, while the second one, with a download speed of 4,255 Mbps, is from Rajkot in Gujarat.
In the first case, the ping time — or the time taken by a packet of data to travel from the test device (mobile phone) to the speedtest server and back — is just 6 milliseconds. 1 millisecond is equal to one-thousandth part of a second.
The second test shows a ping time of 10 milliseconds.
The low ping times mean that the delay involved in the processing of the data packet at the terminal end and at the network end are comparable to that experienced by fiber optic broadband users.
This is important for delay-sensitive applications, such as controlling a car remotely, remotely managing a surgery and so on.
In July, Bharti Airtel had put out a statement, claiming that it had broken the 1,000 Mbps speed barrier using 5G technology in a testing scenario.
Vodafone Idea said it will continue with the tests and trials, since the government has extended the validity of the trial spectrum by several months.
The company has been testing various real-time applications of 5G technology using the trial spectrum, including remote monitoring, remote visualization, motion detection and so on.
5G services are expected to be launched by the middle of next year, starting from bigger cities such as Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.
Auctions are expected to take place in February.
However, Vodafone Idea said telecom operators are under financial pressure, and it was looking forward to the government waiving the upfront payment that usually forms part of any spectrum auction payment scheme.
P Balaji, who heads regulatory affairs at the company, also called on the government to offer a two-year moratorium on the emi payments for spectrum purchased in the upcoming 5G spectrum.
He also said the reserve price of 5G spectrum has to be “much lower” from what has been indicated so far.
Vodafone Idea is not the only player that has called for steep cuts to 5g spectrum reserve prices.
Speaking at last year’s India Mobile Congress, Vishakha Saigal, vice president and head of strategic initiatives and regulatory affairs at Reliance Jio had termed the suggested reserve prices as “grossly inflated” and warned that going ahead using such numbers can seriously impair the ability of the industry and telecom providers to invest in much needed infrastructure.