Budget 2018: DoT-supported testing facility at IIT Madras to help speed up 5G roll-out process in India

In a thrust to roll out 5G in 2020 in line with the global markets, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday that the Department of Telecom (DoT) will support a 5G-test bed at IIT Madras.

A visitor walks past a 5G sign during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Reuters.

A visitor walks past a 5G sign during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Reuters.

The 5G technology is being standardised globally to enable Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

The centre at IIT Madras can work on the development of IoT and Machine to Machine applications which are relevant and best suited for India.

Nasscom welcomed the establishment of a 5G-test bed, saying that this will enable India leap-frog in areas of emerging technologies globally.

"The setting up of 5G centre in collaboration with IIT Madras would help India being early adopter of the next generation technology rather than being a laggard," said Hemant Joshi, Partner, Deloitte India.

"This could be a boon for the telecom industry and guide the telecom operators to move to next-gen networks efficiently and effectively. India could take lead in setting up standards for the next-generation technologies," Joshi added.

Prakash Mallya, Managing Director, Sales and Marketing Group, Intel India, said that the DoT's establishment of an indigenous 5G centre is an encouraging sign of the government's view of collaboration with the broader technology ecosystem.

Last November, global communications technology leader Ericsson showcased the first-ever live 5G end-to-end demonstration in the country.

According to Ericsson, 5G technology will enable a $27.3 billion revenue potential for the Indian telecom operators by 2026.

"The increased budget allocation towards building Smart Cities and the setting up of the development centre to work on 5G technologies are positive steps in the direction of introducing 5G in India by 2020. Ericsson will continue to work with the government and the industry to lay the foundation for bringing the full benefits of 5G to India," said Nitin Bansal, Managing Director, India at Ericsson.

The largest 5G opportunity will be seen in sectors like manufacturing, energy and utilities followed by public safety and health sectors. The retail sector in India will offer potential 5G-enabled revenue of up to $1.15 billion by 2026.

"2017 was significant for the telecom sector as India skipped from 2G to 4G with all the telecom players focusing on 4G. The focus on creation and augmentation of telecom infrastructure in 2018-19 and efforts of government towards 5G is really applaudable," said Vinu Cheriyan, CFO & Director Operations at Sennheiser Electronics India Pvt Ltd.

According to Jay Chen, CEO, Huawei Telecommunications India, the budget laid down plans to connect additional 1.5 lakh gram panchayats with fibre optic networks under BharatNet.

"This will create access and affordability and will help in bridging the digital divide even further," Chen said in a statement.


Published Date: Feb 01, 2018 23:28 PM | Updated Date: Feb 01, 2018 23:28 PM