The government decided to make usage of the indigenous 5G test bed free of charge for the next six months, up until January 2023, for recognised start-ups and MSMEs in an effort to strengthen the 5G ecosystem in the nation.
For other stakeholders, this service will be available at a very nominal rate. “Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has strongly urged all 5G stakeholders i.e. industry, academia, service providers, R&D institutions, government bodies, equipment manufacturers etc. to utilise the 5G test bed facilities and expertise to test and facilitate the speedy development and deployment of their products in the network,” said the telecom ministry in a statement.
The government recently concluded a 5G spectrum auction, in which it garnered a whopping Rs 1.53 lakh crore. Telecom minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the 5G service in India is most likely to start by the telecom operators in the first week of October 2022.
Earlier in March 2018, the telecom ministry had approved a financial grant for the multi-institute collaborative project to set up ‘Indigenous 5G Test Bed’ in India with a total cost of Rs 224 crore. The 5G test bed is available at five locations viz., Integrated Test Bed at CEWiT / IIT Madras and other test beds are at IIT-Delhi, IIT-Hyderabad, IIT- Kanpur and IISc - Bangalore.