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The government is planning to roll out 5G testbed in early January to enable small and medium enterprises and other industry players to test their solutions on a working platform, a top Department of Telecom official said on Thursday.

For the promotion of 5G indigenous technology, DoT in March 2018, had approved a multi-institute collaborative project to set up an indigenous 5G Test Bed at a total cost of 224 crore.

A testbed consists of a specific environment including hardware, software, operating system, and network configuration to test a product or service.

"One more effort that we have taken in the recent past is setting up a 5G testbed. We hope to roll out this 5G testbed in early January which will enable SMEs and other parts of industries to come and test their solution on a working platform," DoT secretary K Rajaraman said at India Mobile Congress.

The collaborating institutes include IIT Madras, IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IISc Bangalore, Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering & Research (SAMEER) and Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT).

At present, the DoT has allocated spectrum to Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea and MTNL for 5G trials. Foreign companies Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung and Mavenir are engaged with telecom operators in 5G trials.

Apart from this, indigenous 5G products are being developed by C-DoT and other domestic firms. The DoT has an extended trial period up to May 26 or till the date of assignment of spectrum for commercial use post auction, whichever is earlier.

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