Just five months after 5G was launched in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the next step ahead in the sector with 6G at the new International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in New Delhi on March 22. With 6G research and development test bed, PM Modi unveiled the “Bharat 6G Vision” document.
ITU is a United Nations’ specialised agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs), whose headquarters are in Geneva. To establish an area office, India signed a Host Country Agreement with ITU in March 2022.
Along with India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Afghanistan and Iran will be served by the new office. It aims to improve regional coordination and ensure mutually beneficial economic cooperation.
PM Modi also announced that the World Telecommunication Standardisation assembly will be organised in October 2024 in the capital.
6G Will Offer Affordable Solutions
According to the details shared by the Department of Telecommunications, the pillars of India’s 6G vision include a multi-platform next-generation network, standardisation, the ecosystem for devices and systems, R&D finance, innovation solutions and identification of the spectrum.
It was also said in a document that 6G will expand on 5G technology by offering more dependable, ultra-low latency and affordable solutions with speeds nearly 100 times faster than 5G to enhance and drive new communication applications.
The Centre believes that these technological advancements will have an impact not only on user experience but will also transform economies and lives around the world.
India’s 6G mission can be divided into two: Phase 1 between 2023-25 and Phase 2 between 2025 and 2030.
According to the document, exploratory ideas, risky pathways and proof-of-concept tests will be supported in Phase 1. As part of Phase 2, ideas and concepts that show promise and potential for acceptance by the global peer community will be adequately supported to completion, establishing their use cases and benefits, and creating IPs that can be implemented and testbeds leading to commercialisation.
It says: “Bharat 6G Mission is fully aligned with the national Vision of Atmanirbhar Bharat and it seeks to empower every Indian to become self-reliant in their lives. At the same time, it ensures that India takes its rightful place in the world as a leading supplier of advanced telecom technologies and solutions that are affordable and contribute to the global good.”
Bharat 6G Vision document says while 5G appears to be “futuristic at the moment”, 6G will offer ultra-low latency with speeds up to 1 Tbps.
It also states that machine-to-machine and human-to-machine interactions will be amplified to unprecedented levels, transforming the development and use of VR/AR, mobile edge computing, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other technologies. 6G use cases will also include remote-controlled factories, self-driving cars and smart wearables that take input directly from human senses.
This document further states that India’s 6G mission aims to provide all of these high-speed and ultralow latency solutions to urban and rural areas at affordable prices.
What Does the Industry Think?
Regarding this latest announcement, Arvind Bali, CEO of Telecom Sector Skill Council told News18 that the idea of seamless integration of the digital and physical worlds through 6G technology holds tremendous potential for the future.
Bali believes that 6G holds the possibility to provide extreme speeds with predictably low latency and a low jitter rate for highly demanding scenarios and about 10 crore active 6G devices by 2030.
“The launch of the 6G Test Bed by the Prime Minister is a significant step towards realising the Bharat 6G Vision and placing India at the forefront of innovation in the field. By providing a platform for academic research, industry, and start-ups, the 6G Test Bed can pave the way for the development of a skilled and innovative workforce. It will be interesting to see how this initiative progresses and contributes to the advancement of the 6G ecosystem,” he noted.
Meanwhile, Abhishek Tomar, Co-Founder & CTO, AjnaLens, said with 6G Test Bed entering India, several issues like the form factor of AR/VR devices, cost of the devices and processing time can be altered manifold as 6G will allow processing at the data centre.
“Currently, from 1 GB to 1 TB of data processing takes about 1 millisecond to process, which can be further reduced to 0.1 millisecond with 6G streaming. This technology has the potential to create a huge difference in the AR/VR industry,” he added.
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