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On May 17, the Prime Minister inaugurated the country’s first 5G Testbed in IIT Hyderabad. This is India’s Indigenous 5G Test Bed. This is a first of its kind that will allow startups and industry players to test their products locally. This will reduce the dependence of Indian companies on foreign facilities.

Why is 5G Testbed IIT Hyderabad Important?

This is India’s 1st 5G Testbed. Symbolically, it is an important step towards self-reliance in the field of modern telecommunication technologies. The Prime Minister launched the Atma Nirbhar Bharat project as a part of which this interesting development has taken place. Here are some interesting facts about India’s Indigenous 5G Test Bed.

  • It has been prepared at a cost of around Rs 220 crore.
  • This Testbed has been started because the lack of 5G testbeds led to startups and other industries relying on foreign dependence. If an Indian company wanted to test their products, there was no indigenous 5G testbed until now.
  • India has to catch up to its western counterparts on the 5G standards. Thus an indigenous testbed has been developed to help our startups.
  • The Government of India wants to bring 5G technology to the villages of the country. This move will amplify it.
  • India will use the 5Gi standard to start its 5G journey. This is basically a Made in India 5G standard created in collaboration with IIT Hyderabad and IIT Madras (Chennai). 

What is 5G?

5G refers to the 5th generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G. 5G enables a mechanism in which machines, objects and equipment can be operated and coordinated through interconnected networks. This is called the Internet of Things. For this, a high-band spectrum is needed. Here comes the role of 5G. Internet speeds in 5G have been tested at 20 Gbps (gigabytes per second). The maximum internet data speed in 4G has so far been recorded at just 1Gbps in most cases.

The Significance of 5G

  • 5G technology will bring about positive changes in governance, and will lead to ease of living and ease of doing business in the country.
  • Improvement in such indexes will boost growth in sectors like agriculture, health, education, infrastructure and logistics.
  • The 5G industry will create many employment opportunities in the country.

Challenges in Bringing 5G to India

  • Low fiberization footprint: India’s current fiber connectivity is only 30% of telecom towers across the country. This needs to be doubled for 5G to launch smoothly. 
  • ‘Make in India’ hardware challenge: India has banned certain foreign telecom OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers). Most of 5G technology development depends on it. To create Make in India hardware of the same presents a hurdle in itself. 
  • High spectrum pricing: India’s 5G spectrum pricing is more expensive than the global average. This will prove to be a hurdle for India’s cash-strapped telecom companies.
  • Selecting the optimal 5G technology standard: India used the 5Gi standard. There are some conflicts between the domestic standard and the global 3GPP standard. This needs to be sorted out to accelerate 5G technology implementation.

Way Ahead

  • To make the 5G dream in India come true, the Government needs to encourage and promote our local 5G hardware manufacturing at an unprecedented rate.
  • There must be a rationalization of pricing of this spectrum. This is because the government has to generate sufficient revenue from the auction without disrupting the implementation plans of 5G in India. 
  • 5G can be deployed on different band spectrum, low and high alike. This range can be helpful for rural areas as well.  

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5G Testbed IIT Hyderabad FAQs

What is 5G?

5G refers to the 5th generation mobile network. It is a new global wireless standard after 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G.

What is the significance of 5G?

5G technology will bring about positive changes in governance, and will lead to ease of living and ease of doing business in the country.

What does the Government of India needs to do to promote 5G in the country?

To make the 5G dream in India come true, the Government needs to encourage and promote our local 5G hardware manufacturing at an unprecedented rate.

What are the difficulties in making 5G prominent in India?

India’s current fiber connectivity is only 30% of telecom towers across the country. This needs to be doubled for 5G to launch smoothly. 

Why has the 5G Testbed IIT Hyderabad started?

This Testbed has been started because the lack of 5G testbeds led to startups and other industries relying on foreign dependence. If an Indian company wanted to test their products, there was no indigenous 5G testbed until now.