Govt offers 5G test bed free of cost to recognised startups, MSMEs up to Jan 2024

New Delhi [India], February 27 (ANI): The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has offered the usage of 5G test bed free of cost to the startups and MSMEs recognised by the government up to January 2024, according to a statement released by ministry of communications on Monday.

All fifth-generation mobile system (5G) stakeholders namely industry, academia, service providers, research and development institutions, government bodies, equipment manufacturers, etc., can utilise this facility at a very nominal rate, the statement said.

This is being announced in order to encourage usage of the test bed and give a fillip to the development of indigenous technologies/ products in line with ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ vision. According to the statement, several startups and companies are already using the test bed for testing their products and services.

In March 2018, keeping in view India’s specific requirements and to take lead in 5G deployment, the department of telecommunications approved a financial grant for the multi-institute collaborative project to set up ‘Indigenous 5G test bed’ in India with total cost of Rs 224 crore. According to the ministry statement, the eight collaborating institutes in the project were IIT (Indian Institute of Technology)- Madras, IIT — Delhi, IIT — Hyderabad, IIT — Bombay, IIT — Kanpur, IISc — Bangalore, Society for Applied Microwave Electronics EngineeringResearch (SAMEER) and Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT).

The indigenous 5G test bed was dedicated to the nation by Prime Minster Narendra Modi on May 17, 2022. A web-based portal has also been designed for access and usage of the test bed.

The 5G test bed is available at five locations namely Integrated Test Bed at CEWiT/ IIT — Madras and other test beds are at IIT — Delhi, IIT — Hyderabad, IIT — Kanpur and IISc — Bangalore. CEWiT/ IIT Madras offers end-to-end test bed with various testing services for RAN Level, PHY Level etc., and other test equipments.

The end-to-end test bed is compliant with the global 3GPP standard and the ORAN standard. Indigenous 5G test bed provides an open 5G test bed that enables Research and Development teams of Indian academia and industry to validate their products, prototypes, algorithms and demonstrate various services, according to the statement. Further, it provides complete access for research teams to work on novel concepts/ideas holding potential for standardisation in India and on global scale.

This has resulted in huge cost-efficiency and reduced design time due to which Indian 5G products are likely to become market competitive globally, the statement said.

Test bed provides the facilities of 5G networks for experimenting and demonstrating applications/use cases of importance to Indian society like rural broadband, smart city applications and intelligent transport system (ITS) and shall help Indian operators to understand the working of 5G technologies and plan their future networks.

The development of this indigenous test bed is a key milestone step for India’s becoming self-reliant in the 5G technology domain and now leading towards 5G Aatmanirbhar Bharat. (ANI)