Borje Ekholm, President and CEO of Ericsson said, “India is already leading the 5G development, the 5G innovation lab is essentially a testbed for the technology, which aims to bring together the industry and the academia, to leverage the 5G technology to develop new apps and business models”.

On 3 July, Swedish telecommunications company, Ericsson formally launched the country’s first “Centre of Excellence (CoE) and Innovation Lab” for 5G at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi.

Communications Minister, Manoj Sinha announced at the lab inauguration, “We may have missed the 3G and 4G bus, but India cannot afford to miss the 5G bus. It is a topic of immense relevance for India. We need the entire eco-system to work together to make 5G a reality in India over the next 2-3 years”. He added, “The 5G Center of Excellence supports the government’s plans to foster a robust and vibrant 5G ecosystem in the country. We want India to be an active participant in the design, development and manufacturing of 5G-based technologies, products and apps”.

The Minister said that the government is in the process of identifying potential use cases for 5G and sectors like health, education and disaster management, agriculture, autonomous vehicles, among others.

RS Sharma, chairman of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) also boasted about India’s data consumption habits, saying, “India is a big player in data consumption. It consumes more data than any country in the world”. He also insisted that the technology needs to come to us in the form of Plug & Play or modular additions, so it does not render existing products and devices useless. Adding a very pertinent point to it, Sharma said, “We need to solve our own problems by leveraging 5G technology. We need India relevant changes”.

Sinha emphasized, “I would like to urge the industry, academia, students, and start-ups to leverage the Ericsson Innovation Lab to develop new 5G-based apps and business models that could potentially lead to better agricultural yields, better healthcare, smarter cities, more efficient manufacturing and enhanced lifestyles”.

V Ramgopal Rao, director of IIT Delhi said, “With 5G forum being created, India wants to lead, not just for data consumption, but for creating and innovating new technology.” Rao added, “After the first center being set up here [IIT Delhi], we want to see it open to other academic institutes eventually.”

Borje Ekholm, president, and CEO of Ericsson said that the company is leading 5G standardization globally. ‘We would like to unleash the creativity and innovation of the Indian industry, academia and entrepreneurs to fully leverage and make 5G a reality in India,” he stressed. He added, “India is already leading the 5G development. If you look at the country’s data consumption, it consumes four to five times more than any European country. And with 5G, the experience will only get better. The speeds will be higher by ten times, and there will be longer batteries by 100 times. 5G will drive total digitation of the economy”.


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