By Mousume Roy, APAC Reporter, HCL Technologies Ltd.


Prime Minister Narendra Modi opened India’s first 5G testbed, which has been developed as a multi-institute collaborative project by eight institutes led by IIT Madras.

Addressing the silver jubilee celebrations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India or TRAI, the prime minister said 5G mobile technology—yet to be commercially launched in India—will contribute $450 billion to the economy in the next 15 years.

Modi added: “5G technology is going to bring positive changes in the governance of the country, ease of living and ease of doing business. This will boost growth in every sector like agriculture, health, education, infrastructure and logistics while creating many employment opportunities.”

The 5G testbed is an important step for self-reliance in the direction of critical and modern technologies. Earlier startups and industry players were required to travel abroad to test and validate their products for installation in a 5G network.

Commenting on the announcement, Vijay Anand Guntur, President, Engineering and R&D Services, HCL Technologies, said: “This is a welcome move for India’s technology space. The power of 5G is crucial for digitization and it will soon become far more evenly distributed in an increasingly connected world. 5G connected IoT devices, remote controlled-robotics, connected vehicles, and the reality of smart cities, are some of the revolutionary possibilities that may seem difficult to envisage today.

He added: “HCL has invested in test beds for its customers in the 5G space based out of India and the US. 5G wireless technology with its high speed and low latency has the potential to fuel innovation and drive opportunities for economic growth through connectivity-led transformation.”

HCL Technologies has recently launched a 5G Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) lab in India (3 locations) and USA (2 locations) to enable global telecom industry players to transition to a 5G network. Telecom service providers leverage this lab with multi-vendor options to move to a more open, intelligent, virtualized and fully interoperable 5G mobile network to enhance end-user experience.

O-RAN architecture benefits include more market competition, customer choice, lower equipment costs and improved network performance. 5G O-RAN systems will help businesses transform their network capabilities and will bring in opportunities to create new, immersive user experiences and services.