The Army Training Command (ARTRAC) is collaborating with IIT-Madras to establish a 5G testbed at the Military College of Telecommunication in Mhow, Indore, to assist the army in implementing 5G technology for operational application, particularly along international frontiers.
In the presence of army authorities and IIT-Madras professors, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for this collaboration was signed on June 20 by the Military College of Telecommunication on behalf of the Army Training Command, Shimla, and IIT.
IIT-Madras will provide consultation, backed by research, for feasibility studies and prototype development on 5G enabled future communications, according to a statement released by the institute.
According to Bhaskar Ramamurthi, ZOHO chair professor, department of electrical engineering, IIT-Madras, this will completely enable students and trainees at the Military College of Telecommunication to become intimately conversant with the latest technologies incorporated in the 5G system. The professor is also the project leader for the 5G testbed.
This collaboration is planned to accelerate the introduction of niche technology-based systems, devices, and equipment, as well as the application of AI-based algorithms to improve the capabilities of the Indian armed forces.
Additionally, it also intends to speed up the army’s indigenisation operations in the communications field in order to achieve “Atmanirbharta” and provide a testing facility for the tri-services.
Furthermore, the institute hopes that this collaboration with the army will motivate students, professors, and scientists to conduct research in 5G communications and military application development.
“Latest communication technologies like 5G have a great relevance to the armed forces and it is important for their officers to acquaint themselves with such developments. It is an example of how the 5G testbed developed with support from DoT (Department of Telecommunications) to enable Indian companies and start-ups to test their products, can also be successfully leveraged for other productive purposes,” Ramamurthi said in a statement.
However, the news comes just a week after the Union Cabinet approved the 5G spectrum auction, which will take place by the end of July and will be 10 times faster than 4G. At the moment, telecom providers are only allowed to test 5G services.
Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Union Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics and Information Technology, successfully tested India’s first 5G audio and video call at IIT-M in May this year.