Indigenous 5G test bed

Building an End to End 5G testbed

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is funding a large scale 5G testbed project to encourage Indian startups and the industry to take an early lead in 5G. The goal of the project is to build a test bed that closely resembles a real-world 5G deployment. This testbed could become a basis for many commercial deployments. This project will create a 5G prototype and testing platform that will be developed under the guidance of IIT-M faculty. The project will deliver an end-to- end 5G testbed comprising of 5G BS and UE nodes that support enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), Ultra low latency communication (URLLC), and massive MTC including NB IoT services. The operating frequently includes both sub 6 GHz and mmwave frequencies. The system will exceed IMT 2020 5G performance requirements including Low Mobility Large Cell (i.e.., LMLC) targets introduced by India at ITU. The ‘Indigenous 5G Testbed’ project is a long term effort with a team of 50+ researchers/engineers based out of IIT-M campus.

Top Indian institutes and startups such as IITD, IITH, IITK, IITB, IISC, Sameer, CEWiT and IITM are involved in this project with IITM/CEWiT being the integrator and the lead of the project.

With the world racing towards 5th generation broadband wireless technologies on all fronts, it is a crucial phase for telecom R&D and product development in India, considered one of the three largest telecom markets of the world. 5G Research and Standardization is reaching its global peak, and technology demonstration and test beds have started gaining momentum. With a number of Government initiatives such as smart cities, Digital India and BharatNet depending heavily on the communication infrastructure, early leads by India in 5G technology development and deployments are very crucial to the country.

It is also a golden opportunity to close the gap in telecom manufacturing in the country.In order to address the key challenges of the fast-growing Indian broadband market and to scale-up the Indian presence in the telecom products and manufacturing space, there is an urgent need to build strong expertise, IPs and prototypes in the area of 5G technologies that can help in creating products.

In order to leverage the outputs from various other research activities going on in the country and to develop a next generation technology base which can facilitate creation of products and solutions using 5G technologies, it is essential to develop and provide an extensive test bed covering all the areas of a 5G network solution to the R&D community in India.  This is how the prospect of building end to end 5Gtestbed came to materialize.