An interesting project was implemented by the Indian telecommunications operator Vodafone Idea. The company embeds the so-called small cells for 5G networks in street facilities. The trials are being conducted in the ‘smart city’ Bhopal as part of a pilot project by telecom regulator TRAI.
Such pilot projects aim to make cross-sector infrastructure more accessible for rapid deployment of 5G networks. Street furniture – such as traffic and light poles, bus shelters and other facilities – can be used for a variety of “smart” functions, including 5G small cells, the operator says.
TRAI has selected Vodafone Idea to conduct the trials in Bhopal as the prime location when it comes to smart cities in the country. Findings from this project will be used to deploy 5G in other smart cities in India.
“TRAI is testing 5G readiness using small cells and aerial fiber at various locations across the country. “Vodafone Idea is conducting trials to use street furniture for small cells also in Bengaluru Metro, New Delhi International Airport, Deendayal-Kandla Port in Gujarat,” the telecom operator explained.
Back in March, TRAI published a consultation document on embedding small cells and the so-called aerial fibers for implementing 5G networks in street furniture. The regulator then called on businesses to get involved with comments and ratings on the idea.
According to TRAI, the use of public infrastructure such as bus stops and light poles or for signs when deploying cells for 5G networks should reduce the capital cost and time required to build the next generation networks.