India aims to acquire a 10% share in the Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) associated with sixth-generation (6G) technology. The collaborative efforts, led by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT), Department of Science and Technology (DST), and other relevant entities, are highlighted by a senior official from the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY).
In an official statement, Meenakshi Agarwal, Scientist 'D' at MeitY, emphasized on the need for privacy and cybersecurity regulations, and the development of energy-efficient technologies.
Development and deployment of 6G technology may bring in unanticipated challenges, in addition to cybersecurity such as threats to privacy, trust, consumer protection, competition and inclusion, among others.-CUTS Project Brief
"India currently holds the position of having the second-largest 5G network globally. However, the government is not stopping here; their focus is now on the successful implementation of sixth-generation technology (6G) across the nation."
To recall the ‘Bharat 6G vision’ that was announced last year,the International Telecommunication Union (ITU )gave its approval to the 6G Vision Framework, with India's Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications playing a pivotal role in its formulation. Initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's release of the "Bharat 6G Vision" document in March 2023, India aspires to be a leading contributor to the design, development, and deployment of 6G technology by 2030, aligning with principles of Affordability, Sustainability, and Ubiquity.
The Bharat 6G Vision, based on affordability and global contribution, positions India as a key supplier of advanced and affordable telecom technologies. The Department of Telecommunications' focused efforts in prioritizing 6G standardization, emphasizing Ubiquitous Connectivity, Ubiquitous Intelligence, and Sustainability, have strengthened India's standing in the international telecommunications landscape.
ITU, designating 6G as 'IMT 2030,' officially endorsed the 6G Framework on June 22, 2023. This recommendation serves as a foundational document for global 6G research and development, with India's substantial contribution in collaboration with member countries of the United Nations. The Telecommunication Engineering Centre (TEC), representing the technical arm of the Ministry of Communications, has spearheaded India's standardization efforts in the 6G Framework, led by the National Study Group (NSG).
TEC, through NSG, has actively engaged stakeholders from various sectors, including major industries, startups, academia, and research and development organizations. This inclusive approach, focusing on India's specific requirements, builds upon past contributions to the development of 5G technology. The ongoing efforts position India as a front-runner in shaping the future of 6G technology on the global stage.
As of today, India is in the early stages of researching and developing 6G technology. The nation officially introduced its "Bharat 6G Vision" in March 2023, delineating a phased approach for its implementation.
In Phase 1, spanning from 2023 to 2025, the emphasis lies on the identification and exploration of potential applications and technologies for 6G. This includes research in key areas such as terahertz frequencies, AI-powered networks, and integrated sensing and communication systems. Additionally, proof-of-concept projects are underway to demonstrate practical applications in sectors like healthcare, education, and agriculture. The development of a skilled workforce through training programs and research collaborations is also a key focus during this phase.
Moving into Phase 2, from 2025 to 2030, the goal is to progress towards commercialization. This involves active participation in global efforts to define 6G standards, ensuring India's influential role in the process. The country aims to encourage local companies to engage in the design, manufacturing, and deployment of 6G equipment and applications. Pilot deployments will be conducted to test 6G technologies in real-world environments before a widespread rollout.
Key takeaways include India's proactive involvement in the research and development of 6G, with a focus on potential applications and the establishment of essential infrastructure and expertise. While the technology itself is still in its early stages and lacks global standardization, the commercialization of 6G in India is anticipated to occur sometime after 2030.
What is 6G?
The sixth generation of cellular network technology, commonly known as 6G, is currently in the early stages of research and development, lacking defined standards or a commercial launch date. Envisioned as a substantial advancement beyond the existing 5G networks, 6G aims for data rates ten times faster, potentially reaching terabits per second (Gbps), facilitating near-instantaneous downloads and uploads. With an emphasis on ultra-low latency, targeting microseconds, it becomes crucial for real-time applications like remote surgery or autonomous vehicles.
The foreseen features of 6G include a massive increase in network capacity to support the growing Internet of Things (IoT), enhanced security through advanced encryption and authentication protocols, and the potential for innovative applications such as immersive virtual reality experiences and augmented reality overlays for smart cities. Despite its transformative potential, 6G is faced with challenges, including technological complexity, high development costs, the need for new infrastructure, and potential health and environmental concerns related to higher frequency bands.
At the current stage, various entities, including companies, research institutions, and governments, are actively engaged in exploring different technologies and potential use cases. The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) is expected to finalize the 6G standard around 2028. While 6G holds promises of faster and more reliable connectivity, enhanced support for emerging technologies, improved efficiency, and new opportunities for businesses and innovation, its successful development and implementation will necessitate careful planning, collaboration, and consideration of the challenges ahead.
Written By- Rashi Grover