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Telecom dept looking to unleash 5G potential, exploring uses

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is looking to unleash the potential of spectrum and is exploring meaningful applications for 5G technology, a top official of the department said on Tuesday.

At the CII Partnership Summit 2020, Telecom Secretary Anshu Prakash also said the government is soon going to come up with an incentive scheme to encourage manufacturing of telecom equipment in India where the government will look at more value addition from the country in making the gears.

“We are going to unleash the potential of spectrum, remove all the bottlenecks, explore what new can be done with the spectrum,” Prakash said.

He said the government wants to encourage wirelines, internet-leased line, FTTH (fibre-to-the-home) and FTTX connections.

“In the realm of 5G, we want to come up with meaningful applications. Applications that are not merely enhanced mobile broadband but which touch all lives in agriculture, health and education, disaster management, public safety, traffic management etc,” Prakash said.

The government has set a target to roll out 5G in the country by 2020 but has missed the timeline. A DoT official, however, has mentioned that DoT is in discussion with the Department of Space and the defence ministry, and expects that the spectrum-related issues will be resolved soon.

Telecom operators have been pushing for starting 5G trials to develop solutions that are relevant for India but the government has not allocated them radiowaves for even trials.

Reliance Jio announced that it will install an indigenously developed 5G network and had approached the DoT for trial spectrum. The company istesting 5G solutions being developed by its subsidiary Radisys in US due to non-availability of 5G spectrum in India.

Prakash touched upon the government’s plan to start a production-linked incentive scheme for the telecom sector.

“We are soon coming out with a production-linked incentive scheme for which about Rs 12,000 crore is earmarked. What is important in telecom production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme is that not mere manufacturing, we want value addition to happen in india.

“We want more IPR (intellectual property rights) should be generated here. We want to undertake fiberisation,” Prakash said.

The DoT is soon expected to approach the Cabinet for the approval of guidelines for telecom sector PLI. PTI

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