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IIT Madras launches state-of-the-art facility for testing 5G networks

III Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation has launched a state-of-the-art lab called the ‘ComNet Lab’ for testing 5G networks and providing a one-stop solution for network security testing labs for the domestic and global markets. Its mission is to accelerate indigenous 5G secure solution development that would be suitable for the Indian environment and become the foremost security compliance testing lab for 5G networks.

Located at the IIT Madras Research Park, the ComNet Lab has been designed and set up for testing 5G Core network functions and 5G RAN functionality, adhering to 3GPP security and functional requirements and Open RAN standards. It has advanced equipment sourced from global and domestic vendors. It will provide testing for 5G core, 5G RAN and Open RAN functionality testing besides security testing, compliance testing and interoperability testing.

IIT Madras Pravartak is already working with various Government agencies in networking and security areas ranging from standard development, use case development, solution development, and vulnerability besides penetration testing, among other areas.

The ComNet lab was inaugurated recently by Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Chairman, Scientific Advisory Committee of National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS), Government of India, in the presence of Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, Dr. MJ Shankar Raman, CEO, IIT Madras Pravartak Technologies Foundation, researchers and staff of Pravartak.

Speaking about the ComNet lab launch, Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Chairman, Scientific Advisory Committee of National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems (NM-ICPS), Government of India, said, “This is an important development in the Indian network security testing space. As India embraces the latest IoT and communication technology platforms, security is going to become a major bottleneck. This initiative by IIT Madras is timely and will help accelerate testing and deployment of 5G networks.”

IITM Pravartak’s focus areas include Sensors, Networks, Actuators, and Control Systems (SNACS). It is deeply connected with the IITM research ecosystem and has incubated more than 25 deep-tech startups.

Highlighting the importance of such facilities for achieving ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in critical technologies, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “The ComNet lab will become a 5G core and Open NFV certified assessment body for India and also provide Telecom Security Testing for 5G core security areas in the country. It will also play a role in expanding services to the 4G core area.”

This infrastructure is owned by IIT Madras Pravartak and operated by Vaan Megam Networks, which has profound industry experience and expertise in network routing and switching, wireless, security, 2G/3G/4G and 5G area.

The ComNet lab will be providing ‘Lab as a Service’ and has the following facilities

  • 5G Core Lab:
  • 5G Core Essential Requirement
  • OpenNFV
  • 5G Security Lab:
  • 5G Core Security Verification
  • 5G RAN Security Compliance Verification
  • Open Testing and Integration Centres (OTIC)
  • Interoperable Testing
  • Compliance Testing
  • E2E Testing

The unique aspects of the ComNet lab include having been established as a Vendor Neutral Lab powered by Industry-academia collaboration. It is a single point for security solutions for 5G Core, RAN and Open RAN.

IITM Pravartak Technologies is a Section 8 Company housing the Technology Innovation Hub on Sensors, Networking, Actuators, and Control Systems. It is funded by the Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, under its National Mission on Interdisciplinary Cyber-Physical Systems and hosted by IIT Madras.

CT Bureau

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