The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) stated on Monday that it will prolong the free usage of the 5G test bed facility for startups and MSMEs recognized by the government by one year, from January 2023 to January 2024. In order to strengthen the 5G ecosystem in India and advance the goals of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Made in India, the government stated in August of last year that anybody may utilize the test bed for free for six months starting in January.
In software testing, a “test bed” is a controlled environment where programmers may test their modules without affecting live servers.
The DoT emphasized that this facility is also available to all 5G stakeholders, including businesses, academia, service providers, R&D organizations, governmental agencies, equipment makers, etc., albeit for a “very modest charge.” “This is being launched to promote test bed utilization and support the creation of homegrown technology and goods in keeping with the Aatmanirbhar Bharat goal. The test bed is already being used by a number of entrepreneurs and businesses to test their goods and services, according to a statement from the DoT.
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To create the test bed and assist in the deployment of 5G in India, the government authorized a cash grant of Rs 224 crore in March 2018. Prime Minister Narendra Modi established the test bed facility in May of last year to enable businesses to assess their 5G-related goods and solutions. The test bed is now accessible at five locations, including the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, and the Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technologies (CEWiT) at IIT Madras.
Although IIT Hyderabad offers gNB Testing, UE Testing, end-to-end interoperability testing, and NB-IoT testing, CEWiT offers an end-to-end test bed with a variety of testing services for RAN Level, PHY Level, etc., and other test equipment. In contrast, the V2X and 5G open-source test beds are hosted by IISc Bangalore, the base-band test bed by IIT Kanpur, and the NB-IoT and VLC test beds by IIT Delhi, according to the DoT.
In addition, it stated that “the test bed provides the facilities of 5G networks for testing and proving applications/use cases of value to Indian society, such as rural broadband, smart city applications, and intelligent transport system (ITS)”.
It’s important to note that the DoT tweeted in June of last year that 43 startups and MSMEs had been approved for grants totaling more than Rs 50 crore to develop technologies like 5G core, RAN, NMS, IMS, chipsets, devices, and ICT solutions and applications for the roll-out of 5G services in the nation.
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