India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the Bharat 6G vision document and launched the 6G research and development (R&D) test bed. The announcement was made during the inauguration of the new International Telecommunication Union (ITU) area office and innovation centre in New Delhi.
The 6G R&D test bed is expected to facilitate faster adoption of the new technology in the country. The Prime Minister emphasized that India was only a user of telecom technology before 4G, but today, it is moving towards being the biggest exporter of telecom technology in the world.
The Bharat 6G vision document, which was released by the Department of Telecom (DoT), states that while 5G technology promises a speed of 40-1,100 Mbps with the potential to hit maximum speed of 10,000 Mbps, 6G will offer ultra-low latency with speeds up to 1 terabit per second, which is 1,000 times more than the top speed of 5G.
The purpose of the 6G test bed is to provide an enabling environment for innovation, capacity building, and faster technology adoption in the country. The Bharat 6G vision document and 6G test bed have been prepared by the Technology Innovation Group on 6G (TIG-6G), which was constituted in November 2021 with members from various ministries/departments, research and development institutions, academia, standardization bodies, telecom service providers and industry to develop a roadmap and action plans for 6G in India.
The Prime Minister also noted that India's 5G standards are part of the global 5G systems and that India will work closely with ITU for the standardization of future technologies. The country now has over 127 global patents for 6G technology, according to the Union Minister for Communications Ashwini Vaishnaw.
While the development of 6G technology is expected to take several years, the efforts being made by India to develop 6G technology and create an enabling environment for innovation and capacity building in the field are commendable.