Operators to focus on smart city solutions; BSNL chairman talks up India’s 5G prospects

BSNL revealed on Sunday that it has partnered with Japan-based telcos NTT Communications and Softbank on the deployment of 5G and IoT technology in India.

The state-run operator’s chairman Anupam Shrivastava told the Economic Times that his company is also in advanced stages of organising 5G trials, and that the government has agreed to release spectrum for said trials.

"We have signed an agreement with Softbank and NTT Communications to roll out 4G and IoT products and services in India," he said, in the report. "Under the agreement, we will look at solutions specially for the smart cities."

Under its Softbank partnership, BSNL will work with OneWeb, the Softbank-backed company planning to deploy the world’s largest constellation of broadband satellites.

The partnerships come as India ramps up its 5G activities. Earlier this year, the Indian government claimed that 5G would begin rolling out across the country in 2022.

However, Shrivastava is working to an even more optimistic schedule.

He noted that India was late to launch 3G and 4G, "but 5G will be launched in India in 2020 as soon as the standards are freezed by ITU."