The government has launched the country’s first 5G testbed with an aim to support the country’s telecom industry and startups to validate their products, prototypes and solutions in 5G, as well as, next-generation technologies. This move is aimed at reducing dependency on foreign facilities.

In the absence of a 5G testbed, startups and other industry players were required to go abroad to test and validate their products for installation in a 5G network. The testbed facility will be available at 5 different locations.

The 5G testbed has been developed as a multi-institute collaborative project by a total of eight institutes, led by IIT Madras. The other institutes that participated in the project include IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IISc Bangalore, Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering and Research (SAMEER) and Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT).

The project has been developed at an estimated cost of Rs 2.20 billion.

Besides, the Digital Communications Commission (DCC), which is the highest decision-making body of the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), will also hold a meeting to decide upon the modalities of the 5G spectrum auction. The meeting is expected to decide upon the tenure for which to give out spectrum to telcos, the roll out obligations for certain 5G bands and ways in which telcos could partner with the industry for private captive 5G networks, among other issues.

Highlighting the role of the telecom sector in the progress of the country, the Prime Minister asserted that 5G technology will contribute $450 billion to the Indian economy while adding that by the end of this decade, the country will be able to launch 6G services.