The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) under the Ministry of Communications has offered the usage of 5G Test Bed free of cost to Start-ups and MSMEs recognised by the Government of India up to January 2024. All 5G stakeholders – Industry, Academia, Service Providers, R&D Institutions, Govt. Bodies, Equipment Manufacturers etc. can utilise this facility at a very nominal rate. This has been announced in order to encourage usage of the Test Bed and give a fillip to the development of indigenous technologies/ products in line with ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ vision. Several start-ups and companies are already using the Test Bed for testing their products and services.
In March, 2018, keeping in view India’s specific requirements and to take lead in 5G deployment, the Department of Telecommunications approved financial grant for the multi-institute collaborative project to set up ‘Indigenous 5G Test Bed’ in India with total cost of Rs.224 Crore. The eight collaborating institutes in the project are IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) Madras, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IISc Bangalore, Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering & Research (SAMEER) and Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT).
The 5G Test Bed is available at five locations – Integrated Test Bed at CEWiT/ IIT Madras and other Test Beds are at IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Kanpur and IISc Bangalore. CEWiT/ IIT Madras offers end to end Test Bed with various testing services for RAN Level, PHY Level etc. and other test equipment. IIT Hyderabad has facilities for gNB Testing, UE Testing, end to end interoperability testing and NB-IoT testing, while IISC Bangalore hosts the V2X and 5G open-source testbed, IIT Kanpur hosts the base-band Test Bed and IIT Delhi hosts the NB-IoT and VLC Test Bed.