GS Paper - 3 (ICT)

Prime Minister on 17 May 2022 inaugurated the country's first 5G testbed to enable startups and industry players to test and validate their products locally and reduce dependence on foreign facilities. The testbed has been set up at a cost of around Rs 220 crore. The Prime Minister said the 5G testbed is an important step for self-reliance in the direction of critical and modern technologies.


  1. The 5G testbed has been developed as a multi-institute collaborative project by eight institutes led by IIT Madras.
  2. In the absence of a 5G testbed, startups and other industry players were required to go abroad to test and validate their products for installation in a 5G network.
  3. The other institutes that participated in the project are IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IISc Bangalore, Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering & Research (SAMEER) and Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT).
  4. India is targeting the rollout of a 6G telecom network, which will provide ultra-high-speed internet connectivity, by the end of the decade.
  5. India currently has 3G and 4G telecom networks and companies are gearing up to launch 5G.
  6. It is estimated that the 5G network rollout will add $450 billion to the Indian economy.
  7. The 5G technology will bring positive change in the governance of the country, ease of living, and ease of doing business.
  8. It will boost growth in agriculture, health, education, infrastructure, and logistics.