The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has offered the usage of 5G Test Bed free of cost to the Start-ups and MSMEs recognised by the Government of India up to January 2024.
All 5G stakeholders, i.e., Industry, Academia, Service Providers, R&D Institutions, Govt. Bodies, Equipment Manufacturers etc. can utilise this facility at a very nominal rate.
”This is being announced in order to encourage usage of the Test Bed and give a fillip to the development of indigenous technologies/ products in line with ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ vision. Several start-ups and companies are already using the Test Bed for testing their products and services,” an official press note said.
In March 2018, keeping in view India’s specific requirements and to take lead in 5G deployment, the DoT approved a financial grant for the multi-institute collaborative project to set up an ‘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 Minister Narendra Modi on 17 May 2022.
The development of this Indigenous Test Bed is a key milestone step for India 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, MSMEs, R&D, academia and industry users. This has resulted in huge cost efficiency and reduced design time due to which Indian 5G products are likely to become market competitive globally.