The government has launched the open radio access network (RAN) testbed for conformance, certification and interoperability testing of open RAN-based solutions. The testbed, developed by the Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DOT), aims at helping innovators, startups, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and other stakeholders to test the open RAN technology.

As per the government, this initiative will facilitate stakeholders involved in research and development in the area of open RAN by extending testing facilities for the proliferation of the open RAN ecosystem in India.  It will facilitate the testing of open RAN elements and the development of fully indigenous 5G radio network in India. It shall also facilitate the certification and badging of subsystems that conform to the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and O-RAN Alliance specifications.

Commenting on the launch at the World Telecom Day conference in New Delhi, Devusinh Chauhan, Union Minister of State for Communications, said that India has witnessed the fastest-growing telecom network and the fastest 5G rollout covering over 680 districts with 5G in the country. He said that the spectrum allocation has been done in a transparent manner and in record time. Additionally, the development of indigenous 4G/5G stack has led to India emerging as a global telecom power.

Chauhan further added that the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) and BharatNet have played an important role in bridging the digital divide and providing connectivity to the last mile. More than 600,000 villages are connected with 4G and 200,000 gram panchayats with optical fibre which has brought digital inclusion. He has also emphasised that due to various reforms of the Department of Telecommunications, an inclusive development infrastructure has been developed to provide ease of living, ease of doing business and citizen-centric services.