India is determined to take a dominant position in the sixth-generation or 6G technology, and that requires collaboration between the government, industry and academia, minister of state for communications Devusinh Chauhan said.
Last November, the telecom department (DoT) has formed multiple task forces for collaborative development including country’s standards contribution for next generation technology following activities worldwide.
“India also aspires to take lead in the 6G space. This will require a collaborative effort from the government, telecom service providers, research institutions, and academia to identify the areas of work and build synergy to innovate, create Intellectual property rights (IPR), standardise, contribute to global standards, create technical specifications, and run pilots,” Chauhan told.
The development on the 6G technology front has begun in eastern countries like China, Japan and Singapore, while India, too in its ambition, wanted to have a strong contribution in global standards formulation, before the new technology is expected make a global dent in 2028.
Chauhan further said that with the start of implementation of 5G technology, telecom community in various parts of the world has started to actively look at new use cases and requirements for 6G.
However, India is expected to auction 5G frequencies later this year, while the merger between India’s local 5G technology dubbed as 5Gi, with 3GPP (third generation partnership project)-driven 5G standards is taking a shape.
“We believe that India needs to have its own vision of how 6G will help the country develop, in what manner we would like to make use of it, in what manner we want the standards in 6G to be driven, and what kind of intellectual property opportunities are there for India,” K Rajaraman said, adding that the department would look at such areas as a part of upcoming whitepaper.
With a view to lead innovations in the next phase of technology development, the Technology Innovation Group on 6G (TIG-6G) is expected to come up with a study next month.
The department constituted six task forces, with a mandate to timely bring in developments. These groups would recommend roadmap for spectrum policy, international standards contribution, financing of research and development, and device ecosystem.
Multinationals such as Samsung, Huawei, Ericsson, Nokia, Apple, LG, and Xiaomi have started their efforts for the development of new technology.
The 6G-centric networks are expected to exhibit heterogeneity than the 5G, and are likely to support ultra-high latency applications beyond the current data use scenarios, and the telecom carriers are expected to embark on a decentralised business strategy for 6G that is likely to see a convergence between space broadband and terrestrial networks.
Recently, Jio Platforms (JPL), a Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Jio subsidiary collaborated with the Finland’s University of Oulu, for undertaking research and standardisation-related activities for 6G development.
This partnership between the two, would further extend Jio’s 5G capabilities, and would explore use cases for the upcoming 6G-era.
In 2020, the Osaka University in Japan and the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore claimed to have developed a chip for terahertz (THz) waves, that could be used for 6G applications.