The Indian government seems set to adopt 5G technology alongside other developed markets, given its focus on programs like Digital India. The government has commissioned a research team on 5G technology, which has already filed 100 patents so far — of which around 10 have already been granted, according to the Economic Times.
The research project, which was commissioned by the ministry of electronics and IT, was approved in September 2015 with an outlay of Rs. 36.51crore over a period of three years. Most of these patents have been filed by the team simultaneously in the US and in India.
The Indian telecom market has historically been playing catchup game with the rest of the world in the adoption of 2G, 3G and 4G technologies. Although 5G standards are planned to be completed for first 5G commercial deployment in 2020, many operators in the US, Korea and Japan are preparing to pilot or trial 5G in 2016 and commercially launch the first 5G solutions from 2017 onwards.
5G is the fifth generation of wireless networks which are expected to offer not just more speed for end users and also have the capacity to connect the billions of devices like driver less cars and household appliances which will connect to the internet in the near future.
“We are scaling up fast and switching gears because 5G is just around the corner,” Kiran Kuchi, a professor at the department of electrical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Hyderabad was quoted as saying.
He said that the research team expects to file a lot more patents in the next few years.
Apart from the government, private stakeholders like Reliance Jio, Tata Teleservices and Tejas Networks, along with a host of startups are partnering in the effort by lending their manpower and equipment. A person familiar with government’s plans said that India is aggressively pursuing the agenda at the body which is making standards for 5G of which India has been made a member only two years ago.
“World over governments in China, UK, and others are pumping money in 5G and we can’t miss the boat,” an official was quoted as saying.
An earlier ET report said that telecom gear makers Ericsson and Nokia began talks with Indian telcos and policy makers for possible engagements around fifth-generation (5G) technology. The initial talks revolve around the telcos’ interest and their preparedness for the 5G technology, besides identification of relevant spectrum band that will support the technology.