In an effort to keep up with global markets and roll out 5th-generation mobile networks by 2020, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Thursday that the Department of Telecom (DoT) will support a 5G test bed at IIT Madras.
5G technology is being standardised globally to enable Internet of Things (IoT) applications.
The centre at IIT Madras is expected to work on the development of IoT and machine-to-machine applications suited for India.
"The setting up of a 5G centre in collaboration with IIT Madras will help India become an early adopter of the next-generation technology, rather than being a laggard later," said Hemant Joshi, a partner at Deloitte India.
"This could be a boon for the telecom industry and guide telecom operators to move to next-gen networks efficiently and effectively. India could take lead in setting up standards for the next-generation technologies," Hemant added.
Last November, global communications technology leader Ericsson showcased the first-ever live 5G end-to-end demonstration in the country.
According to Ericsson, 5G technology will enable a $27.3 billion revenue potential for the Indian telecom operators by 2026.
"The 5G technology showcase has been organised in the direction of creating a robust 5G ecosystem as the government plans to have the 5G network roll out by 2020," said Nunzio Mirtillo, Head of Market Area-South East Asia, Oceania and India, Ericsson.
The largest 5G opportunity will be seen in sectors like manufacturing, energy and utilities followed by public safety and health sectors. The retail sector in India will offer potential 5G-enabled revenue of up to $1.15 billion by 2026.
"2017 was significant for the telecom sector as India skipped from 2G to 4G with all the telecom players focusing on 4G. The focus on creation and augmentation of telecom infrastructure in 2018-19 and efforts of government towards 5G is worthy of applause," said Vinu Cheriyan, CFO & Director Operations at Sennheiser Electronics India Pvt Ltd.
According to Jay Chen, CEO, Huawei Telecommunications, India, the budget laid down plans to connect additional 1.5 lakh gram panchayats with fibre optic networks under the "BharatNet".
"This will create access and affordability and will help in bridging the digital divide even further," Chen said in a statement.