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IIT-Guwahati, Ministry of Communications Collaborate on 5G Infrastructure

Image credit: IITGuwahati; Twitter

The Indian Institute of Technology in Guwahati (IIT-Guwahati) has submitted a proposal to the Minister of State (MoS) for Communications to set up a Centre of Excellence in Advanced Communication on campus to aid the study and development of next-generation communication systems. The proposal comes after the Minister visited the Institute and lauded the infrastructure and research on communications, connectivity, and other related areas. The Minister requested IIT-Guwahati provide support for 5G Communications and other vital technologies. He also met with the regional telecommunication officials at the Institute and discussed the enhancement of connectivity and services to the region. A recent survey noted that India is likely to have 330 million 5G users by the end of 2026. Also, by this time, 5G subscriptions could reach 3.5 billion, accounting for around 40% of all mobile subscriptions. India has the biggest rise in the intention to upgrade, with 67% of users expressing an intention to take up 5G once it is available- an increase of 14 percentage points over 2019.

The IIT-Guwahati Director informed the Minister about the Institute’s target to promote cutting-edge research activities in emerging areas to solve challenges across the country. He stated that the institute was a knowledge hub that can provide technology platforms to deliver solutions to the issues of connectivity in the Northeast region. According to news reports, he also proposed that by working with the Ministry of Communications, improving telecom infrastructure and training human resources for telecommunications operations will be easier.

During the visit, the Minister saw the supercomputer Param-Ishan and its capabilities and applications in weather forecasting and healthcare. He was informed about an upcoming supercomputer, Param-Kamrupa, on campus. The Institute’s Computer and Communication Centre also introduced the Minister to its communication and network infrastructure, HPC facilities, and the new Mehta Family School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The Minister learnt about the 5G-related research and development activities, including the design, fabrication, and characterisation for the 5G millimetre wave. The Institute’s Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering (EEE) is pursuing research in multi-user OTFS modulations under heterogeneous user mobilities, wireless information and energy transfers in a heterogeneous network, D2D-based vehicular communication, Internet of things (IoT), and edge computing. The infrastructure and research developed at IIT-Guwahati could help develop technology for the public and hasten connectivity and network penetration into the rural areas, the Minister added.

5G smartphone shipments surged in the emerging markets boosted by the launch of affordable smartphone models and growing 5G infrastructure, a recent study stated. Shipments rose to 22.9 million units in the second quarter, 2021 in emerging markets, growing 6.5% from the last quarter. In September, the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras (IIT-Madras) announced that a 5G testbed will be operationalised and is dedicated to developing and demonstrating 5G technology-based locally relevant use cases.

About 26% of the mobile subscriptions in India by 2026-end would be 5G. 4G subscriptions are expected to grow at a CAGR of 3%, going from 680 million in 2020 to 830 million by 2026. Currently, India ranks second in the average data usage in the world. The average data usage in India was 13 GB per month till the year 2019, which increased to 14.6 GB in the year 2020. By 2026, the average data consumption in India is expected to be 40 GB per month.


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