India to have 100 5G labs: Here’s what industry players have to say


Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Union Budget 2023-24 speech announced that the government will set up 100 labs in the top engineering institutions to develop apps and services for the next-generation network. India launched 5G in October last year and services are being rolled out by Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel across India.
“To realise new opportunities, business models and employment potential, the 5G labs will cover applications such as smart classrooms, precision farming, intelligent transport systems and healthcare applications,” said the finance minister.
Industry leaders have praised the move and said that the labs will further growth of private networks.

Priyanka Anand, Vice President and Head HR, Southeast Asia, Oceania & India at Ericsson, said the initiatives will aid in bridging the skill gap and will enable the country to realise the Digital India vision.
“Skill building is a critical first step in nation building and with the advent of 5G and related technologies, creating a workforce that is future ready is imperative. It is heartening to see the government investing in building a digital-ready workforce of the future through Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) 4.0 offering training for Industry 4.0, AI, robotics, IoT and drones, etc. This will help address the requirement of 22 million skilled workers in the telecom sector by 2025 and contribute to the nation becoming self-reliant. In addition, the 100 5G labs and 3 CoE for AI will foster the growth of the 5G ecosystem and fuel innovation,” Anand said.

“The set-up of 100 labs to develop 5G in the country will better network connectivity in the nook and corner of the country and further help more sectors and communities to access the benefits of 5G networks,” said Sanmeet Singh Kochhar, vice president – India & MENA, HMD Global.
“We are happy to see the Government empowering start-ups and industry players to build relevant 5G use cases with the promise of 100 labs, taking a step towards accelerating India’s Techade,” noted Muralikrishnan B, president, Xiaomi India.
Anil Kumar Jain, CEO, National Internet Exchange of India (NIXI)
“Education, macro and micro infrastructure, banking, cyber security, defence, and more, are being ably represented towards ‘Amrit Kaal’. Up to 2% of India’s GDP is expected to be powered by 5G. Given this, establishing 100 labs for developing apps using 5G services is a positive step to increase 5G penetration in India. In addition to 5G, the next wave of technologies, such as Web 3.0 and Metaverse, will usher in a new era of economic opportunities. I strongly stand by the National Internet Exchange of India’s efforts to empower all citizens to build a better future for themselves.”

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