As India prepares for the 5G telecom services with several private players already in the market, the upgradation of the 4G technology of State-owned BSNL to 5G will still take 5 to 7 months, Union Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw announced on Thursday. The minister also added that services will be rolled out across 1.35 lakh telecom towers the company has in the country.
The minister was addressing a CII event and talked about encouraging indigenous innovation by increasing the telecom technology development fund from ₹500 crore to ₹4,000 crore per annum.
“Telecom technology stack is going to be rolled out. It’s a 4G technology stack that will be upgraded to 5G in a timeframe of five to seven months. That technology stack will be rolled out across the 1.35 lakh telecom towers in the country,” Vaishnaw said according to the news agency PTI.
To facilitate BSNL’s start of its 5G trials, the telecom ministry has asked Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) to offer equipment for 5G testing.
The minister affirmed that the 5G services by the state telecom service provider will become instrumental in providing the benefits of 5G services to the far-flung areas of India, where the services of the typical market mechanism remain out of reach.
Vaishnaw also talked about the startup ecosystem, especially in the defense and railway sector, and how the government is pushing innovation. He added that the government is providing support to startups from idea to concept stage and sometimes even market or revenue stream at least for three to four years.
“We are taking that model to the telecom space. A Telecom Technology Development Fund of ₹500 crore every year has got established. We will be taking that to ₹3,000-4,000 crore per year. That technology development fund will be available to the entire industry,” Vaishnaw said.
He added that the program has around 800 startups of railways while the defense has 2000 startups associated with the program.
“You can come up with new ideas for new solutions. Begin from an idea and come up to a product level. Similar experiments will be done in many of the sectors,” the minister said. PTI