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Why Airtel, Vi and phonemakers are opposing India’s 5Gi technology: Report

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Among other things, handsets on 3GPP will not work with 5Gi based infrastructure and vice versa. 5Gi sets will also not work on 4G and 6G networks.

Why Airtel, Vi and phonemakers are opposing India’s 5Gi technology: Report
Indian telecom majors like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea (Vi), mobile handset makers and chipset companies are opposing the 5Gi standard technology, calling it “risky.” These companies have jointly submitted a report to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) requesting the Telecommunications Engineering Centre (TEC) to conduct theoretical and field level validation of performance gains of 5Gi.
They have listed multiple reasons on why 5Gi is not the ideal standard for India in the report, according to Economic Times.
Zero assessment of 5Gi is among the reasons cited in the report. With no clarity on established gains of 5Gi, any changes in the global 5G standard needs to be based on significant gains in cost and performance, the report said.
They claim that if there is a change or modification of global 3GPP standard, it must be based on significant gains in cost, performance, and network efficiencies. There is no such proven track record when it comes to 5Gi, whereas the existing 5G technology supports 3GPP standard and has been acceptable in over 150 countries worldwide, it added.
The 3GPP standard has evolved over decades and generations of commercial mobile systems. It defines specifications for complete end-to-end cellular systems, including user equipment (or devices), radio access, core network and service framework for mobile telecommunication.
Another point mentioned by the telecom operators is that the 5Gi radio and the 3GPP 5G radio are non-interoperable. In simpler terms, it means handsets on 3GPP will not work with 5Gi based infrastructure and vice versa. Another setback is international travellers carrying 3GPP-based 5G smartphones will not be able to use roaming services when they are in India. Indians traveling abroad will also be unable to use roaming services.
Smartphone manufacturers like Samsung, Xiaomi and a dozen others will need to make specific hardware changes to their phones in India only as these phones will need to comply with 5Gi based specifications and would entail additional costs for these makers, resulting in higher landing costs for consumers.
Finally, their report states, 5Gi cannot work on 4G and 6G networks, resulting in no scope for future releases or new features.
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