Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the Bharat 6G vision document during the 17th India Telecom event organised jointly by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and Telecom Equipment & Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC). Along with the document, the Prime Minister also launched the 6G test bed to provide industry, academic institutions and others a platform to test and validate the evolving technologies. He also launched the ‘call before you dig’ app. 

As per the vision document, India is gearing up to roll out high-speed 6G communication services by 2030 and has set up a Bharat 6G project to identify and fund research and deployment of the next-generation technology in the country. The document notes that 6G use cases will include remote-controlled factories, constantly communicating self-driven cars and smart wearables taking inputs directly from human senses. However, while 6G promises growth, it will simultaneously have to be balanced with sustainability since most 6G supporting communication devices will be battery-powered and can have a significant carbon footprint.

India’s 6G project will be implemented in two phases, the first one from 2023 to 2025 and the second one from 2025 to 2030. In phase one, support will be provided to explorative ideas, risky pathways and proof-of-concept tests. Ideas and concepts that show promise and potential for acceptance by the global peer community will be adequately supported to develop them to completion, establish their use cases and benefits, and create implementational IPs and testbeds leading to commercialisation as part of phase two.

The government has also appointed an apex council to oversee the project and focus on issues such as standardisation, identification of the spectrum for 6G usage, creating an ecosystem for devices and systems, and figuring out finances for research and development, among other things. The apex council will facilitate and finance research and development, design and development of 6G technologies by Indian startups, companies, research bodies and universities. It will aim to enable India to become a leading global supplier of intellectual property, products and solutions of affordable 6G telecom solutions and identify priority areas for 6G research based on India’s competitive advantages. A key focus of the council will be on new technologies such as terahertz communication, radio interfaces, tactile internet, artificial intelligence for connected intelligence, new encoding methods and waveforms chipsets for 6G devices. As part of its 6G mission, India will identify priority areas for research by involving all stakeholders including industry, academia and service providers spanning theoretical and simulation studies, proof-of-concept prototypes and demonstrations and early market interventions through startups.

According to the Prime Minister, within six months of the rollout of 5G technology, the country is talking about 6G, which shows the confidence of the country. He added that before 4G, India was only a user of telecom technology, but now India is moving fast to become a big exporter of telecom technology. Further, he said that Digital India is supporting non-digital sectors, and he illustrated this by the example of PM Gatishakti Masterplan. He said the ‘call before you dig’ app reflects the same thinking. This will reduce the instances of unnecessary digging and damage. The Prime Minister added that today’s India is rapidly moving towards the next step of the digital revolution, as he underlined that the country has the fastest 5G rollout in the world as 5G services have been rolled out in more than 125 cities in just 120 days and have reached approximately 350 districts. He said that the vision document presented will become a major basis for the 6G rollout in the next few years.