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IAFI urges Govt to accelerate momentum towards 6G research and standardization

ITU-APT Foundation of India (IAFI) has urged Ashwani Vaishnaw, Minister of Communications, IT and Railways to increase the momentum of current innovation on 5G for enterprise and consumers into 6G research and standardization.

Congratulating the government for creating necessary environment for ensuring that 5G consumer broadband services get rolled out in India at a lightning pace. IAFI pointed out that given the fact that India has missed the trillion-dollar market for the networks and devices in the first four generations of mobile technology, it is heartening to note that the country is already starting to take baby steps in the global 5G market – in devices, networks, and software. “However, looking at the speed with which the developments are taking place in the global research and design of 6G technology as well as and development of globally harmonized standards, it is our feeling that we are already trailing behind the curve on 6G,” says Mr. Bharat Bhatia, President IAFI, explaining the urgency of accelerating momentum towards 6G.

With 5G commercial networks now getting deployed worldwide and further expansion on the way, the research and development towards 6G is also gaining momentum. According to the ITU-R WP5D, the UN body responsible for standardizing the Radio Interface for all versions of IMT from 3G to 5G (IMT-2000, IMT-advanced and IMT- 2020), it will take about 6-7 years from now – until 2030 to commercialize the next generation mobile wireless technology.

IAFI expects that the usage of this new generation of technology will further expand into immersive, critical, and massive communications, offering new capabilities beyond communications with omnipresent connectivity, sustainability, efficiency and extending services range to include non-terrestrial applications. With the expansion of usage scenarios towards immersive ubiquitous communication, AI, and extreme communications, 6G system design would require extensive research into the design and development of new technologies, products and services.

Mr. Bharat Bhatia, who has been attending many global conferences on the 6G research and standardization work going on around the world, feels that the work happening in India on 6G needs to be channelized and suitably funded as the IAFI does not see much global recognition of the Indian 6G efforts. He urged the government that urgent steps are needed so that India should not miss the bus again, as it happened in 4G and 5G.

IAFI has therefore proposed the following to Government:

  1. Creation of a national 6G mission with a fixed budget, time plan, office and mandate, website, logo to drive and fund research into 6G technology, regulations, standards, and products. This should preferably be outside the incumbent organizations and institutions (DOT, TEC, TRAI, MEITY, CDOT, TSDSI, IITs, IISC, S&T, etc.)
  2. Setting up of a national steering committee involving the Industry and the R&D institutions along with the relevant regulatory authorities to guide and support the national mission.
  3. Active participation of India in the Global/ITU/3GPP work on 6G.

Further, IAFI has tendered its full support to the Government and said that it would be eager to extend its cooperation and share the extensive experience and expertise of its members in developing technology & standards in making quantifiable progress.

CT Bureau

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