Department of Telecom (DoT) has offered the usage of 5G test bed free of cost to start-ups and MSMEs recognised by the government, up to January 2024, an official release said on Monday.
The release further said that all 5G stakeholders including industry, academia, service providers, research and development institutions, government bodies and equipment manufacturers can utilise this facility at a very nominal rate.
The move will encourage the usage of the test bed and give a fillip to the development of indigenous technologies/ products in line with the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ vision.
Several start-ups and companies are already using the test bed for testing their products and services, the release added.
In March 2018, in view of 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 a total cost of Rs 224 crore.
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 Engineering and Research (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.
"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. This test bed is providing the indigenous capability for testing and validation of 5G products being developed and manufactured by Indian start-ups, MSME, R and D, academia and industry users," the release said.
This has resulted in major cost efficiency and reduced design time due to which Indian 5G products are likely to become globally competitive.
"The development of this Test Bed has also resulted into development of many 5G technologies/ IPs which are available for technology transfer to industry players which shall facilitate the industry players for smooth and speedy deployment of 5G in India," the release added.