Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the Bharat 6G Mission, a focused initiative for next-generation technology in India, along with the launch of the official 6G testbed project.
The mission has been established, with an apex council overseeing it, and a consortium of Indian Institutes of Technology co-developing the testbed. India is the second-largest telecom market globally, with 1.2 billion digital subscribers.
Speaking at the event, Modi highlighted the significant growth of India’s digital economy, which has grown 2.5 times faster than the national economy in the past nine years.
Modi also launched the ‘Call Before You Dig (CBuD)’ app, which facilitates coordination between excavation agencies and underground utility owners to prevent damage to utilities due to digging.
India is the most connected democracy globally, with 70 million e-authentications done daily, and eight billion UPI transactions made every month.
“For India, telecom technology is not just a mode of power but a mission to empower,” Modi said. “India rolled out 5G connections in more than 125 cities within 120 days. India will set up 100 5G labs in the coming years. Within 6 months of 5G, we are already talking about 6G technology. This shows the confidence of India.”
The opening up of 6G airwaves is part of India’s efforts to attain a key toehold in the global supply chain for emerging technology, such as satellite and terrestrial communication gear and components.
India is aiming to take part in global discussions on setting 6G standards and pursuing technological innovations. Within a few months, India’s 5G deployment will cross a few hundred thousand sites, Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said.
The new 6G testbed will provide an R&D platform for start-ups, researchers, and industry, among others, for broadband wireless applications such as e-Governance, smart cities, rural broadband, and other Digital India initiatives under Atmanirbhar Bharat.