In one of the most extensive technology transfer deals from academia in India, a 5G radio access network (RAN) technology developed by a multi-institutional team has been licensed to an industry partner, Tejas Networks (a Tata Group company), for a sum of Rs12 crore.
IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, and the Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering & Research (SAMEER) developed a ‘5G RAN sub-system’ at the 5G Testbed.
The three institutions are jointly licensing the 5G RAN technology to Tejas, which will play a vital role in leveraging it for further advancements and commercial applications.
Tejas will be paying a transfer of technology non-exclusive licence fee of Rs12 crore in multiple instalments based on technical milestones.
Addressing this landmark event, Veezhinathan Kamakoti, director, IIT Madras, said, “I am very pleased that Tejas is planning to adopt this 5G RAN technology developed indigenously by a multi-institutional team of researchers. This initiative is in line with the Aatmanirbhar Bharat vision of the Government of India.”
“This is an outstanding example of how translational research must happen in an inter-institutional, interdisciplinary manner. This is a great example of how research should translate into a product and then get deployed. I hope a billion users of our country will benefit from this technology,” he said.
Speaking about the development, Subramaniam Ganesh, director, IIT Kanpur, said, “IIT Kanpur has been a pioneer in communication research in India. Our faculty has played a pivotal role in the development of this state-of-the-art indigenous 5G Testbed, specifically by developing the baseband unit of the 5G new radio base station at the institute. As we know, the 5G Testbed has been developed as part of a multi-institute collaborative project. This collaborative effort not only complements India’s stride in groundbreaking transformative innovation but also opens up tremendous growth prospects for India’s rapidly evolving telecommunications (telecom) industry.”
The 5G Testbed was developed indigenously through a collaborative project involving eight institutes and funded by the Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications.
The 5G Testbed was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in May 2022, and has since been used extensively by industry and academia for testing new 5G products and use cases.
Welcoming this technology transfer, Kumar Sivarajan, chief technology officer and co-founder, Tejas, said, “We are delighted to conclude a comprehensive 5G RAN technology licensing agreement with IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, and SAMEER. This sets a new benchmark in industry-academia collaboration in India’s high-technology sector. As India’s leading research and development-driven telecom products company, we look forward to translating these cutting-edge innovations and integrating them into industry-leading products and solutions for India and the world.”
At the 5G Testbed, the hardware, firmware, and software are being developed for the 5G base station in India. The 5G base station forms the RAN part of the 5G system. The base station is connected to the core network on one side of an internet protocol network and the user equipment (cell phones) on the radio side. Business Standard