Vodafone Idea (Vi) is conducting a trial on the use of street furniture for the deployment of small cells and aerial fiber in the smart city of Bhopal, in a pilot test organized by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority from India. These pilot projects aim to make cross-industry infrastructure more accessible for rapid deployment of 5G networks.
Street furniture such as traffic sign pole, street light pole, smart pole, billboard, direction sign, traffic sign, pedestrian bridge and city bus shelter are used for test 5G small cells. To test 5G readiness, TRAI selected Vi to conduct trials in Bhopal Smart City as the country’s leading smart city sites. The pilot involved coordination, administration, clearances, permission to use and other support from various entities such as MP State Government, Bhopal Municipal Corporation, Collector’s Office District, Bhopal Smart City, Bhopal Police, Bhopal City link Ltd (bus city service), DISCOM, Advertisement Agency and other state government agencies. The lessons from this project will in turn be used for the deployment of 5G in other smart cities in the country. In this pilot project, Vi demonstrated a 5G download speed of 1 Gbps on a mobile handset at four locations: New Market, Jyoti Square, Prabhat Petrol Pump and Inter State Bus Terminus.
TRAI has been testing 5G readiness using small cells and aerial fibers in different locations across the country. Vi is also conducting trials on the use of street furniture for the deployment of small cells and aerial fiber at Bengaluru Metro Rail, New Delhi International Airport, Deendayal Port – Kandla in Gujarat.
Vi demonstrated a range of 5G-based technology solutions and use cases in its 5G trials on government-allocated trial spectrum in Pune, Maharashtra and Gandhinagar, Gujarat earlier.
Small cells are network equipment deployed by Vi to improve 4G network coverage and capacity. Trials are underway to test the equipment for future 5G network deployments. It uses the higher frequency spectrum to provide ultra-high broadband speed and is placed closer to the user to provide rapid responses to user demand. According to TRAI, these pilot projects will be very helpful in making cross-industry infrastructure more accessible for rapid deployment of 5G networks for telecom operators, after the DoT allocates 5G frequencies. Hundreds of small 5G cells need to be installed over a square kilometer of area to provide good coverage. The use of street furniture already available in various places, such as poles, billboards, etc., can be used for the assembly of these small 5G cells, thus avoiding the need to erect thousands of new towers . This will not only ensure faster deployment of 5G, but also unlock the true potential of underutilized street furniture in ports.
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