As part of a pilot program by TRAI, Vodafone Idea (Vi) is testing how street furniture can be used for small cells and aerial fibre deployment in Bhopal Smart City. The goal of these pilots is to make cross-sectoral infrastructure easier to use so that 5G networks can be put into place more quickly. 5G small cells are being tested on street furniture like traffic signal poles, street light poles, smart poles, billboards, direction boards, road signs, foot over bridges, and city bus shelters.
TRAI has chosen VI to test 5G readiness at Bhopal Smart City, which is the most important smart city in the country. For the pilot, the MP State Government, Bhopal Municipal Corporation, District Collector Office, Bhopal Smart City, Bhopal Police, Bhopal City Link Ltd (Bus City Service), DISCOM, an advertising agency, and other state government bodies helped with coordination, administration, permissions to use, and other help. The lessons learned from this project will be used to set up 5G in other smart cities around the country. In this pilot, Vi showed a 5G download speed of 1Gbps on a mobile phone at four places: New Market, Jyoti Square, Prabhat Petrol Pump, and Inter State Bus Terminus.
TRAI has been using small cells and aerial fiber in different parts of the country to test how ready 5G is. Vi is also testing the use of street furniture for small cells and aerial fibre deployment at Bengaluru Metro Rail, New Delhi International Airport, and Deendayal Port-Kandla in Gujarat.
As part of its 5G trials on trial spectrum given by the government in Pune, Maharashtra, and Gandhinagar, Gujarat, Vi has shown a number of 5G-based technology solutions and use cases.
Via Small Cells are pieces of network equipment that Vi is putting in place to improve the coverage and capacity of its 4G network. Tests are being done on the equipment that will be used in 5G networks in the future. It uses the spectrum of higher frequencies to give ultra-high broadband speeds, and the antennas are put closer to the user so that they can respond quickly to the user’s requests.
According to TRAI, these pilots will help make cross-sector infrastructure easier to use so that telcos can quickly roll out 5G networks after the DoT gives them 5G frequencies. To cover an area of one square kilometer well, hundreds of 5G small cells need to be put in place. Rather than building thousands of new towers, these 5G Small Cells can be put up on poles, billboards, and other street furniture that already exists in different places. This will not only speed up the rollout of 5G, but it will also help ports use their street furniture more effectively.