A quantum leap for India’s 5G future

The recent launch of an experimental license module for 100 5G Labs by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in India marks a watershed moment for technological advancement in the country.

Shubhendu Parth
New Update
Groningen project


The recent launch of an experimental license module for 100 5G Labs by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in India marks a watershed moment for technological advancement in the country. This initiative, aimed at streamlining the licensing process for academic institutions housing 5G Use Case Labs, holds the potential to propel India to the forefront of the 5G revolution, fostering a burgeoning ecosystem of avant-garde innovation.


By awarding 100 5G Use Case Labs to educational institutions, the DoT is cultivating a fertile ground for students and startups to experiment, test, and develop transformative applications for 5G. These labs will serve as critical launchpads for exploring the technology’s potential across diverse fields, from the sinews of smart cities to the vanguard of connected healthcare, remote education, industrial automation, and beyond.

The significance of this initiative lies in its ability to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and the tangible application of 5G technology. Since these labs will be using the 5G frequency bands for carrying out various experiments and testing, acquiring an experimental (non-radiating) license is crucial for interference-free operations ensuring licensed Telecom Service Providers (TSPs).

The streamlined licensing process is the engine driving this initiative’s transformative potential. Traditionally, obtaining an experimental license involved a cumbersome procedure, demanding detailed technical specifications, equipment details, and frequency band information. This often presented a significant hurdle for institutions, delaying research and development efforts.


The DoT’s new approach addresses this challenge with a touch of savoir-faire. By introducing a dedicated experimental license for the 5G labs on the National Single Window System (NSWS) portal, the process becomes significantly more efficient. With automated pre-filling of technical details, instant licenses through self-declaration mode, and a simplified application requiring only basic information, this initiative not only saves valuable time and resources for institutions but also encourages a broader range of participants to engage in the transformative potential of 5G innovation

To fully capitalise on this initiative, the telecom sector must play a pivotal role. Collaboration between TSPs and these 5G Labs is essential. TSPs can offer their expertise, infrastructure, and real-world data sets to guide research efforts and validate findings. Additionally, joint workshops and training programs can equip students and researchers with the necessary skills to navigate the intricacies of 5G technology.

Furthermore, fostering a culture of open innovation is paramount. The DoT and educational institutions can establish platforms for researchers to share findings, collaborate on projects, and attract potential investors. This collaborative milieu will accelerate the development of commercially viable 5G applications and propel India towards becoming a global leader in the 5G domain.

The DoT’s decision signifies a strategic move to democratise access to 5G technology and unlock its immense potential for driving innovation. By actively engaging with the telecom sector and fostering a collaborative environment, India can harness this initiative to translate theoretical knowledge into practical applications, shaping a future powered by the transformative potential of 5G.