An inter-ministerial panel formed to oversee 5G trials has reportedly sought information regarding network architecture from telecom operators.

As per industry sources, the panel has formulated a list of 20 questions for telcos and is seeking information on data security, privacy, localisation, and lawful interception of unregulated communication services, such as calls or messages over applications. Operators’ applications for 5G trials will be approved or rejected on the basis of this information.

Telcos’ network architecture details will help clarify if they are seeking separate vendors for core, or software, and non-core, or hardware, segments of their network. The questions reportedly seek to ask telcos who their partner original equipment makers (OEMs) participating in the trials are and also seek to take an undertaking from the companies that ‘data generated, collected and analysed by the applicant during the trial would be stored within India and the applicant would ensure the security, secrecy and privacy of such data.’

The inter-ministerial panel includes principal scientific advisor Dr Vijay Raghavan, the telecom secretary and secretary of the ministry of external affairs, among others.

This is the first time that the government has come out with a set format of questions for telcos to assess whether to permit them for a trial or not. The practice is now expected to be the norm for trials of any new band.