A day after 5G services were launched in India by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Indian Mobile Congress, the government now plans to set up 5G labs across the country. Union Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology Ashwini Vaishnaw said the Indian government plans to set up 100 5G labs across the country.
Vaishnaw also requested and invited the telecom industry to come together and convert at least 12 of these 100 labs into telecom incubators to train students and do experiments.
5G labs by telecom operators isn’t unheard of. Just a few days ago, Orange Jordan inaugurated the Orange 5G Lab at Orange Digital Village in Abdali to explore new cases of this technology and provide relevant training.
Earlier last month, the minister suggested that a 5G use-case lab be set up at the Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar (IITGN) while visiting the institute. He had even asked IIT-GN to prepare a proposal and offered to develop a 5G use case laboratory and a semiconductor laboratory at the Institute.
He added, “The government is working significantly towards simplifying the license regime for all telecom players. I am really happy to see the energy of startups and MSMEs who are going to rural areas to benefit people.”
Home-grown HFCL Limited (HFCL), a telecom equipment manufacturer and technology provider, has launched 5G Lab-as-a-Service to accelerate the rollout of 5G solutions and services. The lab can provide an automated test environment for the private sector, academia and government to work together on product innovations from concept to reality. It provides a sandbox for rapid prototyping of 5G use cases addressing the needs of various industry segments that include manufacturing, transportation, healthcare and retail. The 5G Lab will help to create pre-integrated and pre-validated 5G solutions for Low Mobility Large Cell needed for the efficient rollout of rural mobile broadband in the country.
India’s 5G rollout
The government is proactively working towards the rollout of the 5G network in India. Within days of auctions – as the telcos submitted spectrum dues – they were issued E band allocation along with spectrum as promised.
Bharti Airtel became the country's first company to launch 5G services. The services will be available in eight cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Bangalore, and others. Reliance Jio will roll out its 5G services by the end of this month. Vodafone Idea also intends to roll out 5G services soon. Government-owned BSNL will also join the 5G race later next year.
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