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Ericsson Establishes 5G Centre of Excellence At IIT Delhi

With data consumption on the rise, India seems to be the ideal spot for innovation and development of 5G

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The prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has been chosen by Sweedish telecom and networking major Ericsson to establish a Centre of Excellence (CoE) and Innovation Lab for 5G in the country. This will be a first-of-its-kind 5G innovation lab set up by Ericsson for Indian industry and academia. This is also the first time a 5G testbed is being created in an academic institute. Why is this important? According to an Ericsson report, 5G enabled digitization revenue potential in India will be $27.3 billion by 2026. Some of the unique features of 5G technology include industrial control and automation, autonomous driving, hospital and medical applications and data management amongst others.

On Tuesday, (3rd July 2018), this CoE was dedicated to the nation by Manoj Sinha, the Central Minister of State for Communication (I/C) and Minister of Railways, together with Börje Ekholm, President and CEO, Ericsson at IIT Delhi. Speaking at the launch the minister said: “I would like to congratulate Ericsson for taking the lead in terms of setting up the first 5G Centre (CoE)…this supports the government’s plans to foster a robust and vibrant 5G ecosystem in India.”

In December 2017, Ericsson did a live demonstration of 5G in India. It is widely expected that in 2018 there may be the first commercial deployment of 5G technology and there will also be deployments of the Internet of Things (IoT). It should be pointed here that India has one of the highest data consumptions in the world-it consumes about 1.3 million GB of data on a monthly basis, leaving countries like China and USA behind.

At the Centre, a host of applications for 5G data were displayed. For example, 5G data can be used to monitor civilian safety, control traffic, help doctors operate on patients from remote places amongst others. It can also be used to monitor plant growth with the help of sensors and much more.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Director at IIT Delhi said, “We are also very happy that there are lots of activities that are happening in the country in the 5G area. There is a 5G forum that is created at the national level and India wants to be a global player when it comes to 5G, not just in terms of usage of data, but also as a player in terms of the technology provider.”

Ekholm in his address said, “Ericsson is leading 5G standardization globally. It is a proud moment as we take a step forward in realising our 5G vision for India. The 5G Centre of Excellence and Innovation Labs aims to stimulate a 5G ecosystem in India by unleashing the creativity and innovation of the Indian industry, entrepreneurs and academia in an open platform.”

While the usage of mobile data and services has been on the rise, the tariffs have seen a significant decline- the voice tariff declined by 67 per cent from 2016 to 2017. Even data tariffs have decreased by nearly 93%. India has pioneered layered innovations whether it is KYCs on top of AADHAAR or infrastructural, application and interface based innovations in smart cities.

According to the minister around Rs 9,900 crore have been spent on telecom infrastructure and services from 2009-14. “Furthermore, the government plans to spend around Rs 66, 000 crore from 2014-18 which denotes a six-fold increase in investment,” the minister said. “We may have missed the 3G and 4G buses, but 5G is a bus, we can’t afford to miss,” Sinha said.

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