The Department of Telecom (DoT) has invited engineering and research institutions to submit proposals for setting up 5G test laboratories in Odisha as part of the Centre's plan to establish 100 such labs across the country. These test labs will be set up in collaboration with other ministries and departments to explore 5G use cases for various government departments. While one test lab has already been established at IIT Chennai, the remaining 99 labs will be set up in a phased manner, said a report from TheNewIndianExpress.
UV Ramana, the Additional Director General (Telecom) of DoT, Odisha, stated that academic institutions, R&D institutions, centers of excellence, and sector-specific institutions with expertise in domains such as health, agriculture, transportation, industry, fintech, mining, and smart cities are encouraged to come forward and send their proposals.
Ramana clarified that specific locations for the labs have not been decided yet, and a national-level selection process will be conducted based on the proposals received from various institutions. The objective of these labs is to test and evaluate products, applications, or services utilizing 5G technology.
In addition to the establishment of 5G test labs, DoT has also launched the '5G and Beyond Hackathon 2023' initiative to encourage individuals, students, start-ups, companies, and academic institutions to transform their innovative 5G-based ideas into practical products and solutions. The portal for online applications is open, and the last date for submission is July 31. As part of this initiative, 100 startups will be awarded Rs 1 lakh each for the development of 5G and beyond products and solutions.
Pankaj Kumar Chand, Director (Technology), mentioned that all district headquarters in Odisha have been connected with 5G networks provided by Jio and Airtel. BSNL is also planning to set up its 4G network across the state by December, with a phased upgrade to 5G in the future.