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GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) today welcomed the decision of India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to give the go-ahead for 5G spectrum and trials of 5G uses and applications in the country using 3GPP-compliant technologies. The applicant mobile operators include Bharti Airtel Ltd., Reliance JioInfocomm Ltd., Vodafone Idea Ltd. and MTNL. 

India’s four major mobile operators, between them accounting for over 1.1 billion mobile subscribers, will join over 436 operators in 133 countries/territories that are investing in 3GPP-compliant 5G networks in the form of tests, trials, pilots, planned and actual deployments. As of April 2021, GSA data showed that there are already 162 mobile operators in 68 countries/territories that have launched one or more 3GPP-compliant 5G services, including both mobile and fixed wireless access.

To meet this global demand for 5G mobile and fixed wireless access services, the number of announced 5G devices has now passed 756 devices spanning 22 form factors from 124 vendors. This growth in announced 3GPP-compliant 5G devices is also reflected in the continued rapid growth in commercially available 5G devices which, as of April 2021, stands at 468 and represents 61.9% of all announced 5G devices.

Joe Barrett, President of GSA, commented: “The commercial momentum behind 5G spectrum, networks and devices is truly global and built on the foundations of cooperation between industry, regulators and standards bodies. Spectrum harmonisation and technology standardisation are central to the ability of the global mobile ecosystem to deliver 5G services and unlock the wider economic and social benefits that it promises. GSA welcomes the decision of the Indian Government to support their mobile operators in investing in 3GPP-compliant 5G technology and in globally harmonised spectrum.”

In February 2021, global government, regulators, operators and mobile industry approved new IMT-2020 standards for 5G, with 3GPP NR adopted as an IMT-2020 global specification. The new 5G standards, which had been in discussion for more than five years, enable governments, regulators and more broadly the entire industry around the world to work together to build ultra-fast 5G services based on standards that put flexibility, reliability and security at their core.

“5G remains on track to become one of the fastest adopted mobile technologies ever,” Barrett continued. “In 2020, the world saw milestone after milestone being passed in 3GPP-compliant 5G network deployments and device launches and this has accelerated further in 2021. Against an unprecedented backdrop of a global pandemic and economic disruption, the mobile industry has continued to see more spectrum allocated to 5G, more networks deployed, and more devices become commercially available; a momentum that has been mirrored in the growth in 5G subscriptions around the world.”


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