India to set up 100 labs to develop apps and services for 5G

India telco 5G labs

The government of India has announced plans to set up 100 labs in the top engineering institutions across the country to develop apps and services for 5G networks, local press reported.

“To realize new opportunities, business models and employment potential, the 5G labs will cover applications such as smart classrooms, precision farming, intelligent transport systems and healthcare applications,” said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union Budget 2023-24 speech.

Sitharaman also said that the India will set up three Centers of Excellence (CoEs) for artificial intelligence (AI) in top educational institutions, where industry players will be able to partner to conduct research and develop applications.

India started to roll out 5G services in October last year. Local operators Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel have already launched 5G in more than 200 cities and towns across the country.

Reliance Jio Infocomm had initially announced the launch of the beta trial of its 5G services in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Varanasi.

Last year, Reliance Jio Infocomm announced 5G contracts with Nordic vendors Ericsson and Nokia. The deal with Ericsson marked the first partnership between Jio and Ericsson for radio access network deployment in the country.

Reliance Jio had previously secured a mix of wireless spectrum for 5G across 700 MHz, 3.5 GHz, and 26 GHz bands. Jio is the only operator with the 700 MHz low-band spectrum.

Jio is offering 5G services via Standalone (SA) architecture.

Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel founder and chairman Sunil Mittal had previously said that most parts of the country will be covered by 5G by March 2023.

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