DoT unveils sandbox, test zones and classes for 5G/6G use cases

DoT unveils sandbox, test zones and classes for 5G/6G use cases

India’s Department of Telecommunications (DoT) revealed key initiatives on Monday to boost local development of 5G and 6G use cases, as well as a skilled workforce to support it.

According to ETTelecom, the DoT revealed its Spectrum Regulatory Sandbox (SRS) and Wireless Test Zones (WiTe Zones) to streamline testing and experimentation of domestically produced wireless solutions.

The SRS is expected to encourage start-ups and SMEs to develop use cases for 5G and 6G technologies, as well as help telcos and solutions providers test gear for any technical problems.

The move fulfils a provision in the Telecommunications Act, 2023 to introduce regulatory sandboxes for testing new communications technologies and driving innovation, particularly for 5G and 6G technologies, the report said.

Speaking at the opening of the India Mobile Congress 2024 and the World Telecommunication Standardisation Assembly 2024, Union telecom and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said the SRS will provide “very easy portal-based permissions” via the centralised Saral Sanchar Portal to expedite applications.

Vaishnaw also said that the WiTe Zones allow experimentation in unassigned and assigned spectrum bands.

The report added that the DoT has also abolished the Wireless Operating License (WOL) requirement for licensees under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1885, which means sandbox participants won’t need to acquire a WOL before they start experimenting.

The unveiling of the SRS and WiTe Zones came the same day that the DoT and Ericsson announced that they will collaborate to give India’s academic 5G labs access to the Ericsson Educate platform’s 5G courses.

The DoT has set up 100 5G use case labs within 100 institutes across India with the objective to build competencies and engagement in 5G technologies for students and startup communities. Under an MoU signed by both parties on Monday, Ericsson will open its Ericsson Educate platform to 10,000 students from these institutes and provide access to learning material on key technologies.

Subjects covered as part of the programme at an introductory level include Automation, Telecommunications, AI, IoT, 5G and Machine Learning.

“I am confident that the 5G Labs that we have set up in institutes will help us create new 5G use cases for the country,” Vaishnaw, said. “We are delighted to partner with Ericsson to build competencies in emerging and new technologies and prepare the students to be 5G-ready.”

Nitin Bansal, MD for Ericsson India, said the collaboration is a “significant step” towards developing a 5G ready workforce in India.

“Access to 5G technology related courses will enable these students to develop use cases that can address the local needs of the country, help enhance productivity and accelerate the country’s digitalization efforts,” he said.

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