India aiming to help develop 6G standards: DoT secretary

New Delhi: India is aiming to be a part of the global 6G standards development process and expects that the recently unveiled research & development fund will support early-stage startups working on these technologies, a top government official said.

“We are in a situation where 6G standards are not there. So, we are trying to be part of the standards-making process,” Department of Telecommunications (DoT) secretary K Rajaraman told ET.

Earlier this year, the department had come up with a Telecom Technology Development Fund scheme to support domestic firms including startups involved in design, development and commercialisation of applications based on the 5G, 6G and other future-generation access technologies.

The deadline to submit proposals under the funding programme has now been extended from November 15 to December 31.
DoT intends to look at opportunities in terms of developing new standards and expects that the scope and scale of 6G would be finalised worldwide by 2023-24, Rajaraman said.

Separately, the government is also looking to open up spectrum in the 95 gigahertz (GHz) – 3 terahertz (THz) frequency range to allocate for 6G-driven experimental use.

In 2017, the telecom department had set up a 5G High Level Forum to articulate the vision for 5G in India and to recommend policy initiatives and action plans which, experts say, was an overdue move.

India’s 5Gi, a local 5G standard that is also known as Radio Interface Technology, has faced stiff resistance from the telecom industry following concerns around interoperability and ecosystem unavailability.

In November last year, the telecom department had formed a Technology Innovation Group to bring about vision and objectives as well as develop a road map for R&D and action plans for the next-generation (6G) technology.

The standards body, Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI) had last year submitted a 6G vision document to the International Telecommunication Union. It had also set up a 6G working group.

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