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With an objective to boost the 5G ecosystem within India and to achieve the objectives of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India initiatives, the Government of India has decided to offer the use of Indigenous 5G Test Bed free of cost to the Indian government-recognized start-ups and MSMEs for the next six months up to January 2023.

It will be available at a very nominal rate to all other stakeholders. The Department of Telecommunications, Government of India has strongly urged all 5G stakeholders – i.e. industry, academia, service providers, R&D institutions, government bodies and equipment manufacturers – to utilize the 5G testbed facilities and expertise to test and facilitate the speedy development and deployment of their products in the network.

In keeping sight of India’s specific requirements and to take lead in 5G deployment, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) approved a financial grant for the multi-institute collaborative project to set up an “Indigenous 5G Test Bed” in India in March 2018 with a total cost of Rs 224 crore.  The eight collaborating institutes in the project are IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Madras, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IISc Bangalore, Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering & Research (SAMEER) and Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT). 

The Indigenous 5G Test Bed was dedicated to the nation by the Hon. Prime Minster Shri. Narendra Modi on 17 May 2022.

The end-to-end test bed is compliant with the global 3GPP standard and the ORAN standard.  Indigenous 5G Test Bed provides an open 5G test bed that enables R&D teams of Indian academia and industry to validate their products, prototypes and algorithms, and demonstrate various services. Further, it provides complete access for research teams to work on novel concepts/ideas holding potential for standardization in India and on a global scale. It provides the facilities of 5G networks for experimenting and demonstrating applications/use cases of importance to Indian society like rural broadband, smart city applications and intelligent transport system (ITS) and will provide help to Indian operators to better understand the working of 5G technologies and plan their future networks.

The development of this Indigenous Test Bed is a key milestone for India’s becoming self-reliant in the 5G technology domain and pushing 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&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 more market competitive globally.

The development of this test bed has also resulted in the development of many 5G technologies/IPs that are available for technology transfer to Industry players which will facilitate for Industry players the smooth and speedy deployment of 5G in India.

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