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New Delhi: Major telecom operators, including Airtel, Jio and Vodafone Idea, have established 5G trials sites in Hyderabad, Gurugram, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chandigarh, Delhi, Jamnagar, Ahmadabad, Chennai,Lucknow, Pune and Gandhi Nagar cities.

Indigenous 5G testbed project, funded by the telecom department, has reached the final stages and the project is likely to be completed by December 31, 2021, an official statement said on Monday.

It added that “these metros and big cities would be the first places for the launch of 5G services in the country, next year”. Summing up the year 2021, the statement by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) outlined the progress across various initiatives from Bharat Net to the installation of mobile towers in LWE (left-wing extremism)-affected areas, as well as the telecom reforms announced in September to ease financial stress in the sector.

“Foreign direct investment (FDI) in telecom sector rose around 150 per cent between 2014-21 from Rs 62,386 crore in 2002 to 2014 to Rs 1,55,353 crore during 2014-21,” the release said.

On the 5G testbed, it informed that the indigenous 5G testbed project funded by the Department of Telecom (DoT) has reached its final stages. The eight implementing agencies are IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, IISC Bangalore, SAMEER and CEWiT have been working for 36 months.

“Costing about Rs 224 crore, the project is likely to be completed by December 31, 2021, paving the way for end-to-end testing of 5G user equipment (UE) and network equipment by 5G stakeholders developing 5G products/ services/ use cases, including indigenous start-ups, SMEs, academia and industry in the country,” it said.

The indigenous 5G test bed, a technology development project initiated in telecom space, will enable development, testing and proliferation of 5G technology system components, cross-sectoral use cases, besides setting up the foundation for the development of ‘6G Technology landscape’ in the country.

A 6G ‘Technology Innovation Group’, or TIG, has been constituted by DoT to co-create and participate in the development of the 6G technology ecosystem through increased participation in a capability description, standards development at global standard-setting bodies.

“This would be necessary to prepare India’s manufacturing and services ecosystem to capitalise on 6G opportunity,” it said.

6G TIG comprises members from government, academia, industry associations and the Telecom Standards Development Society of India (TSDSI). In its first meeting on November 25, 2021, TIG members presented the future technology needs in different sectors of the economy to enhance India’s contribution to the global value chain.

The rural teledensity has jumped from 44 per cent in March 2014 to 59 per cent in September 2021. The broadband connections have risen to 79 crores in June 2021 from 6.1 crore in March 2014.
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