An Indian 5G testbed will be set up at a military engineering college in Mhow to help the Indian Army use the technology for its operational use, especially along the borders, the defence ministry said on Monday. The facility will be established by the Military College of Telecommunication Engineering (MCTE) in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. “The MoU signed will give an impetus to induction of systems, devices and equipment using niche technology and also use of AI-based algorithms for enhancing capabilities of our armed forces,” the ministry said in a statement.
To set up the 5G testbed, the Army Training Command (ARTRAC) is partnering with the IIT Madras at the Military College of Telecommunication at Mhow, Indore.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this effect was signed today by Lt Gen MU Nair, AVSM, SM, Commandant, Military College of Telecommunication Engineering, on behalf of the Army Training Command, Shimla, and Prof V Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, in the presence of Army officials and faculty of the institute.
“It will also promote collaborative and cooperative research and facilitate exchange of ideas for development of new technology,” a release said.
The partnership would encourage students, faculties and scientists to undertake research in area of 5G communications and development of military applications. Besides, it would accelerate the Army’s indigenisation efforts for achieving ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in the field of communications, and provide a testing facility for tri-services, and thus act as a catalyst for research and development, it said.
As per the MoU, IIT Madras would provide consultancy, duly supported by research for feasibility studies and prototype development on 5G-enabled future communications.
Highlighting the importance of the partnership, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, ZOHO Chair Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras, said, “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.”
Ramamurthi, who heads the 5G Testbed project, further said the project at MCTE would enable the students and trainees at the college to become thoroughly familiar with the advanced technologies embedded in the 5G system.
“It is an example of how the 5G Testbed developed with support from DoT to enable companies and start-ups to test their products can also be successfully leveraged for other productive purposes,” he said.