India moves towards 6G, PM Modi launches ITU’s area office and 6G testing bed


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that India is fast moving towards becoming a major exporter of telecom technology, whereas till a few years back it used to be just a user. Addressing a gathering after inaugurating the new ‘Regional Office and Innovation Centre’ of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) here, Modi said India is one of the countries which has launched 5G mobile technology at the fastest pace.

He said that within 120 days of the launch of 5G, the services have been expanded to 125 cities. Modi said, ‘Within six months of the launch of 5G technology, we are talking about 6G.’ He said that this shows the confidence of the country.

He said, ‘Before 4G, India was only a user of telecom technology, but now India is fast moving towards becoming a big exporter of telecom technology.’ Modi also announced that in the coming days, India will set up 100 new 5G labs.

“These labs will help in developing 5G applications as per the unique requirements of India,” he added. Emphasizing that India’s telecom and digital model is smooth, secure, transparent and reliable, the Prime Minister said this is the decade of ‘Teched’.

Referring to India’s telecom success story, Modi said the number of Internet users has grown from 250 million in 2014 to 850 million, with a majority in rural areas. He also said that the government and the private sector together have laid more than 25 lakh kilometers of optical fiber in the last nine years.

During this, the Prime Minister unveiled the ‘India 6G Vision Document’ (TIG-6G). He also launched the ‘6G Research and Development (R&D) Centre’. Apart from this, he also launched the ‘Call Before You Dig’ app.

ITU is the United Nations specialized agency for Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Its headquarters is in Geneva. It is a network of Regional Offices, Zonal Offices and State Offices. India had signed an agreement with ITU in March 2022 for setting up the regional office.

The regional office in the country also envisages an innovation center associated with it which makes it unique among other regional offices of ITU. The regional office is fully funded by India. It is located on the second floor of the Center for Development of Telematics (C-DOT) building at Mehrauli.

According to the statement, it will provide service to India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Afghanistan and Iran, enhance coordination among nations and promote mutually beneficial economic cooperation in the region.

TIG 6G is designed by Technology Innovation Group. The group was formed in November 2021 with members from various ministries, departments, research and development institutions, academia, standardization bodies, telecom service providers and industry to develop an action plan and road map for 6G service in India .

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