Telecom sector is a continuously evolving sector with high technological obsolescence. It has seen transformation from Wire-line to Mobile services, which has become lifeline of the people. Mobile services have also seen transformation from 2G to 3G to 4G to 5G and now 6G is in horizon.
In furthering the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics & Information Technology, in presence of Devusinh Chauhan, Minister of State for Communications announced,
- Formation of the Bharat 6G Alliance (B6GA), a collaborative platform consisting of public and private companies, academia, research institutions, and Standards development organizations.
- The website for Bharat6G Alliance was also launched, the link for the same is https://bharat6galliance.com
- B6GA will forge coalitions and synergies with other 6G Global Alliances, fostering international collaboration and knowledge exchange
In addition, with a grant of 240.51 crores under the Telecom Technology Development Fund (TTDF), two agreements were signed for projects,
- 6G THz Testbed with Orbital Angular Momentum(OAM) & Multiplexing through consortium of SAMEER, IIT Madras, IIT Guwahati and IIT Patna
- Advance Optical Communication Test Bed with Consortium Members as IIT Madras, IIT Delhi, Indraprastha Institute of Information
- Technology (IIIT) Delhi, Signalchip Innovations, Signaltron Systems Pvt Ltd, Sasmos het Technologies Ltd, SFO Technologies Pvt. Ltd,
- ERNET India, Quanfluence Private Ltd, Sterlite Technologies Limited, Nav tech, Tejas network.
Further, under DCIS (Digital Communication Innovation Square),
- Grant of Rs. 48 crore to 66 Startups and MSMEs was also announced
- 75 Innovators were also felicitated by DoT for their remarkable contributions to the field, recognizing their outstanding achievements and dedication. Department of Telecommunications under DCIS Scheme has been funding such startups and MSMEs .
- Details of DCIS are available at https://dcis.dot.gov.in/
Devusinh Chauhan, Minister of State for Communications stated India is a bright spot in the world’s economy, and the telecom sector is brightest spot in India and lauded the stakeholders for the efforts. He added, various citizen & industry centric reforms has led to transparent spectrum auction of over 1.5 lakh crore in record time of 42 days and 2.70 lakh 5G sites in 9 months which is one of the fastest rollout in the world. He appreciated the efforts of the awardees , and also thanked contribution of all stakeholder that has led to indigenous design of 4G and 5G technology and mentioned that with Bharat6G Alliance , India shall now lead in 6G technology.
Addressing the gathering, Ashwini Vaishnaw, Minister for Communications, Railways and Electronics & IT, said that under the leadership of Hon’ble Prime Minister, in past nine years, various series of reforms, which include structural, procedural reforms and relief measures, have been undertaken for telecom sector that has led to transformation of telecom sector as a sunrise sector. He added that world is following the path of technology that India is following. He mentioned that in past 9 years,
- Data cost has been reduced from Rs.300/GB in 2014 to Rs.10/GB in 2023
- The Right of Way permission which took 230 days has been reduced to 9 days
- BTS sites have been increased 4 times to 25 Lakh
- FDI in Telecom Sector has increased to 24 billion Dollar
- In 5G , India Telecom industry has clocked investment of over 2.25 Lakh cores
- Allocation of spectrum after the auction to TSPs was done in 24 hours
- BSNL has become a market stabilizer and is now making operating profits
- India is exporting technology to 12 countries including USA
- 4G footprint is now 99% and for remaining 38,000 crores has been put in to ensure 100% connectivity
- Over 2.7 lakh 5G tower have been installed almost at a rate of 1 Tower per minute making India among Top three 5G ecosystems in the World.
- Japan has aligned with India on Digital Payment system of India.
- Almost 1.5 lakh broadband connection have been provided in rural areas.
- Under PLI, over 1,600 crore investments has happened in Telecom Manufacturing
- Over 200 patents in 6G technology
He said, in consequence to Hon’ble Prime Minister visit to United States of America, India and USA shall co-create technology and the change shall be instrumental to Developed India. He also mentioned about the Semiconductor Mission wherein for Micron Technologies, land approval and project approval has been done within two weeks of announcement and Ground Breaking ceremony for first chip manufacturing unit shall be done with in next 40- 45 days. Five (5) design companies have been given approval for chip design, out of which two shall be working in Telecom Sector. He also mentioned that India is developing Advance optical communication with zero latency that shall help in fields like Telemedical and Telesurgery. He further emphasized that Bharat 6G alliance shall provide a push for making India a leader in 6GTechnology and IPR.
Aligned with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call of adding Jan Anusandhaan in the new phase of Amrit Kaal, Government of India with support of startups, industry, academia, R&D institutes is relentlessly working towards ensuring digital and mobile inclusivity across the country and empowering of common citizens through last mile digital revolution and rapid proliferation of mobile and digital services.
Divyaish Srivastava, Connecting Law, Technology & Public Policy | Government Advisory | Ex-FICCI | Ex-PHDCCI | Lawyer | Policy Advocacy | Government Relations
“The fast adoption of mobile and fixed broadband services in India over the past ten years has drastically changed people’s lives and means of subsistence, especially for marginalized communities. To ensure that its scattered rural population clusters are well-served, the nation has also made significant contributions to international communication standards.
Benefits & Challenges of 6G Implementation
To realize the vision of 6G, India must focus its research in the coming decade on technologies that will bolster and propel the implementation of 6G in India in a highly customized manner. 6G’s hyper-connectivity and advanced user experience will improve and enable access to necessary information, resources (both virtual and physical), and social services without regard for time or location. A solution to rural exodus, mass urbanization, and their associated issues will be made possible by the introduction of 6G, which will significantly reduce differences in regional and social infrastructure and the accessibility of economic opportunities.
India will face numerous challenges in order to achieve the 6G goal. The first challenge will be to align its research with future technologies that will emerge over the next decade. India must identify and prioritize technologies that will support and drive the country’s highly customized implementation of 6G. This means that India will have to work tirelessly to keep up with technological advancements and stay ahead of the curve in R&D.
Providing the population with hyper-connectivity and cutting-edge user experiences will be another problem. The availability of information, resources, and social services for Indians will be unrestricted by time or place thanks to 6G. Building a strong telecom infrastructure that can accommodate the 6G needs for speed and latency is necessary to do this, though. It will also be necessary to make 6G accessible and inexpensive for everyone, even those living in rural areas.
Another challenge that India will face is ensuring the security and privacy of data transmitted over the 6G network. With the increase in connected devices and data being transmitted over the network, the risk of cyberattacks and data breaches also increases. Therefore, India must develop a robust cybersecurity framework to protect against these threats.
According to the Bharat 6G vision document released by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, The Technology Innovations Group set up six task forces in India to explore the major pillars of the 6G vision. Based on their deliberations on the complete 6G ecosystem, they have recommended extensive research in mmWave and Terahertz communications, fiber-broadband, Tactile Internet and Remote Operations, multi-sensor man-machine interfaces, and devices leveraging edge cloud computing resources. Well-placed headways into AI, Space-Terrestrial Integration, combined communication and sensing in (Sub) Terahertz bands, SoCs, and innovative solutions emanating from CoEs can further be accentuated by participation in and contribution to global standards forums and leveraging start-ups of today.
The 6G Mission and R&D
With a reliable and essential Research & Development (R&D) funding source, all of this and more may be accomplished. India will take the lead in identifying research priorities by collaborating with all relevant parties, including businesses, academia, and service providers. This will include conducting theoretical and simulation studies, proof-of-concept prototypes and demonstrations, and early market interventions through start-ups. India will launch a 6G Mission that holistically integrates all related technologies, supported by an adequate financial backup, in order to achieve the end-state of smart traffic management, virtual reality (VR)/virtual navigation, smart and highly accurate environmental monitoring, and other fantastical promises of 6G.
India must make investments in a strong research and development (R&D) funding framework if it is to realize the lofty goals of 6G. In order to determine research priorities, it will be necessary for all stakeholders to get involved, including representatives from businesses, academia, and service providers. This can be accomplished by carrying out theoretical and simulation studies, creating proof-of-concept prototypes and demonstrations, and launching start-ups to make early market interventions. India will be able to take the lead in creating 6G technology that is highly specialized to meet its unique requirements.
Further, India will need to establish a 6G Mission that integrates all related technologies and is adequately backed financially in addition to sponsoring research and development. In order to realize the end-state of intelligent traffic management, virtual reality (VR)/virtual navigation, intelligent and extremely accurate environmental monitoring, and other spectacular promises of 6G, it will be imperative to complete this mission.
Phases of Bharat’s 6G Mission
In accordance with the vision document, the mission can be divided into 2 phases –
- Conceptualization and delivery
In the ideation phase, the focus will be on understanding the inherent potential and risk associated with the pathways ahead and testing proof-of-concept implementations. This will help to gain a better understanding of the technological challenges it may face and how best to overcome them.
The conceptualizing and delivering potential technology solutions to serve India and the global community. This phase will require a focused effort by all stakeholders to develop new and innovative solutions that can be applied to various sectors of the economy, including healthcare, agriculture, and transportation.
India’s capacity to capitalize on its advantages in research and development, engineering, and innovation will be key to the 6G Mission’s success. India has the potential to emerge as a major global supplier of cutting-edge, practical, and cost-effective telecom systems and solutions. It will not only help its own economy by doing this but also help the world become more interconnected and affluent.
India has the resources required to spearhead the 6G wave globally and take advantage of this potent force multiplier to establish itself as a top global supplier of cutting-edge, practical, and reasonably priced telecom equipment and solutions. Next-generation multi-platform networks like dense optical networks, AI/ML on the air interface and for network optimization, tactile Internet, intelligent network operation, intelligent reflective surfaces, efficient low-earth orbit satellites, high-altitude platform systems (HAPS), user-defined virtualized air interfaces, and the integration of 6G with cutting-edge technologies like blockchain, quantum computing, and edge computing must be the country’s main areas of focus. However, considerable expenditures in R&D and infrastructure are needed to develop 6G technology. These investments can be made by fostering public-private partnerships and industry-academia collaborations.
India is well-positioned to take the lead in this transition, which the 6G technology has the ability to bring about in terms of how we live, work, and engage with one another. To create a strong ecosystem for innovation and development, the public and commercial sectors must collaborate to design a thorough roadmap for the deployment of 6G technology. India can realize its objective of digital transformation and inclusive growth and establish itself as a major player in the global 6G market with the proper strategy.”
Sandeep Arora, VP, Telecom Industry Platform at Capgemini
”I feel clear signs of a massive propelling force in communications industry. Just after 9 months of 5G launch, there are 270,000 5G sites in the country already.
Now, Hon’ble Telecom Minister has laid out another ambition for 6G – to have 10% of the intellectual property rights (IPR) in 6G technology from India by 2029/30.
I am beyond excited at the launch of Bharat 6G Alliance to promote next generation wireless innovation.
Digital communication networks are increasingly becoming the backbone for a country’s development by promoting digital inclusion, connecting businesses and customers, empowering individuals with digital skills, and delivering mission-critical public services.
It might feel a bit a early, but it’s the right time to start investing in research and standards development of 6G. In terms of north star for 6G, we’re talking about data transfer of 1 terabit per second (1000 gigabits per second) and response time of few microseconds. It’s a massive leap forward from 5G networks and requires contribution from all stakeholders including academic institutions and industry associations to develop it in a way that’s useful to our future needs.”