The labs will be set up in engineering institutions across the country to test out various 5G-enabled use cases
In May last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a 5G Test Bed project for startups worth INR 224 Cr
Jio and Airtel launched 5G networks in late 2022 after the 5G spectrum auction in July 2022
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Wednesday announced that the government will set up as many as 100 laboratories across the country to develop applications and use cases for 5G. These labs would be set up in engineering institutions across the country to test out various 5G-enabled use cases.
“100 labs for developing 5G applications will be set up in engineering institutions to realise a new range of opportunities, business models and employment potential. The labs will cover, among others, applications such as smart classrooms, precision farming, intelligent transport systems and healthcare applications,” Sitharaman said in her Budget speech.
Last May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched a 5G Test Bed for startups, worth more than INR 224 Cr, at the silver jubilee celebrations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
During the Union Budget 2022-23, Sitharaman announced the 5G spectrum auction, which finally took place during the last week of July and the first week of August last year. The spectrum sale fetched an INR 1.5 Lakh Cr for the government, as Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Adani Data Networks snapped up 51.24 GHz spectrum across multiple bands.
India witnessed the first 5G networks go live across major metro cities in early October 2022. While Airtel launched its network a day before Jio, the latter has taken the lead in terms of rollout coverage.
In its latest financial report, Jio noted that it has rolled out its 5G network across 134 cities and plans to complete the rollout across the country by the end of 2023.