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Telcos seek an early start on local 6G development

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea said that an early start into local 6G development will result in IP or intellectual property creation for the Indian telecom ecosystem. They said that there is a need for the Indian telecom industry and academia to join forces with the telecom department and contribute towards the 6G standard building in cooperation with 3GPP.

“…getting into the journey of 6G is absolutely the right time. India has the brainpower which contributes to the R&D. We should bring telcos, the academia, all the brain we have in our very high standard academic institutions and the Indian government together for the development of IPR for technologies…we can actually really start building 6G standards, and in these 6G standards, we cooperate with 3GPP,” said Randeep Sekhon, CTO of Bharti Airtel.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) recently formed a 6G technology innovation group to create a roadmap for research and development (R&D) and also an action plan for the technology.
The DoT through its innovation group is inviting various stakeholders and partners to help find out technologies that are under development in India and can form a part of 6G so that the same can be pushed for R&D grants.

“I am sure some vendors must be already working on the 6G. So we should start working at the right time. But as I said, let’s identify those members, let’s make a full-fledged vendor ecosystem, the academics people, operators and officials from DoT, and let’s have this separate committee which will submit into 3GPP and getting it patented…this committee should be representing into the international 3GPP standards,” said Jagbir Singh, CTO of Vodafone Idea.

Telcos said that starting early for 6G will help India avoid the situation which the telecom department faced with the 5Gi standard. The standard is now being merged with 3GPP’s global 5G standard following opposition from telcos, chipset and device makers, and gear vendors.

Singh said that India was lagging behind with 5Gi as 3GPP’s global 5G standard was deployed globally. “We can’t come at the last minute with our own standard and deploy it at the same time…for any specific deployment, there needs to be a cycle of 3-4 years…5Gi, however, will give us learnings to contribute more effectively towards the 6G standard.”

Sekhon said that there were no devices or labs to test the impact of 5Gi on Indian telecom networks. “Deploying a fork standard will be very difficult because you would have 50 million devices of the 5G 3GPP standard in India already. But, we must get in now for 6G and get in with full commitment and commit budgets to it,” he added.

Earlier this month, a plan of action was agreed at the 3GPP TSG RAN plenary (RAN#94-e) to allow the merger of 5Gi into 5G, with specific milestones set for both 3GPP and TSDSI.

TSDSI has committed to the merger of 5Gi into 3GPP along with a roadmap of pursuing merged 3GPP 5G specifications in India with no further 5Gi updates in ITU-R. The merger of the 5Gi standard into 3GPP, enables a single common specification going forward, as well as creating a single radio access proposal for the ‘IMT.2020’ 5G family of standards (ITU-R).

“This merger will allow 3GPP to better support all markets with a single solution that will allow 5G to continue to evolve and prosper globally,” “Wanshi Chen, TSG RAN Chair, said in a statement. Mac Pro Tricks

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