Other stakeholders including academia, service providers, R&D institutions, government bodies, among others, will have to pay a nominal fee for using the 5G test bed
The DoT urged the stakeholders to utilise the 5G test bed facilities and expertise to develop as well as deploy their products in the network.
The indigenous 5G test bed was dedicated to the nation by PM Modi in May this year
In a bid to boost the 5G ecosystem in the country, the Centre has decided that the indigenous 5G test bed facility can be used free-of-cost by recognised startups and MSMEs for the next six months up to January 2023.
Other stakeholders including academia, service providers, R&D institutions, government bodies and equipment manufacturers, among others, will have to pay a nominal fee for using the country’s 5G test bed, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) said.
The DoT urged all the above-cited stakeholders to utilise the 5G test bed facilities and expertise to develop as well as deploy their products in the network.
In 2018, the DoT granted INR 224 Cr to build a 5G test bed in India. IIT Madras, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IISc Bangalore, SAMEER and CEWiT were the eight institutions that participated in the project.
In May this year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi dedicated the indigenous 5G test bed to the nation.
Currently, the 5G test bed is available at five locations across India. While the integrated test bed is available at CEWiT/IIT Madras, other test beds are available at IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Kanpur and IISc Bangalore.
The end-to-end test bed is compliant with global 3GPP standard and ORAN standard. It provides an open 5G test bed that enables academia and industry to test their products, prototypes, algorithms and showcase other allied services. It helps research teams to work on novel ideas. It also enables companies to conduct experiments, demonstrate applications and their use cases.
Earlier this month, the Centre concluded the 5G spectrum auction worth INR 1,50,173 Lakh Cr. The auction saw participation of Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Adani Data Networks.
Out of all participants, Reliance Jio was the highest bidder and bought 24,740 MHz of spectrum for INR 88,078 Cr, while Bharti Airtel bought 19,868 MHz of spectrum for INR 43,084 Cr. Vodafone Idea bought 6,228 MHz of spectrum for INR 18,799 Cr.
Last year, the Centre had approved a host of telecom reforms to help the debt-laden and struggling sector, especially Vodafone Idea.
Speaking at an event of the International Telecommunication Union on Monday (August 8), Minister of State for Communications, Devusinh Chauhan said that the reforms are promoting healthy competition, protecting interests of consumers, have infused liquidity, encouraged investment and reduced regulatory burden on telecom service providers.