A group Indian telecom equipment makers has received authorization from Indian Railways to trial a 5G-based mobile communications network between Parwal and Mathura stations, a senior official of industry body VoICE said on Thursday.

RK Bhatnagar, Director General Voice of Indian Communications Enterprise (VoICE), told PTI that members the association will use the premium 700 MHz frequency band provided by Indian Railways to deploy 5G technology.

“Indian Railways has asked VoICE to set up a 5G-based mobile communication network in the Palwal-Mathura section Indian Railways (82 km) in consortium mode on the 700 MHz band as a proof of concept. Implementation target is 9 to 12 months,” Bhatt Nagar said.

VoICE members include Himachal Futuristic Communications, Telecommunications Consultants India, Signaltron, Lekha Wireless, Coral Telecom, Sparsh, Astrome, Dyotis and many others.

A successful trial will help association members to scale their businesses and benefit from Indian Railways Rs. 59,000 quadrillion modernization program.

“Railways will share their existing infrastructure, including spectrum. It will be free for the railways,” Bhatnagar said.

The pilot project will cover various railway communications such as train control communication, emergency communication, access control telephone, communication between train control/station master and driver/security personnel, track maintenance personnel, push-to-talk for key tasks, and group notification.

Mission-critical services such as floor control, audio and video broadcasting, push-to-talk, and special priority calling will also be covered.

This is the first private enterprise network 5G trial to be conducted by an Indian telecom equipment maker.

“Except for HFCL, most the VoICE members are small companies. VoICE is trying to support India’s domestic design-led telcos in similar projects for the Indian Army, private 5G enterprise networks,” Bhatnagar said.

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