Ericsson signed an agreement with IIT Delhi to jointly work on a programme for 5G technology development in India.
"Ericsson and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT Delhi) have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly roll out a '5G for India' programme," Ericsson said in a statement.
Under the agreement, Ericsson will set up a Centre of Excellence with a 5G test bed and incubation centre at IIT Delhi and use this facility to drive the development of the country's 5G ecosystem.
The first series of tests under this programme are due to begin in the second half of 2017 and will place India on par with other developed countries in terms of 5G network and application deployment.
Globally, limited deployment and 5G trials are expected to start by mid-2018 while commercial availability is slated for 2020. "The 5G for India programme is a major step towards understanding the power of 5G technology and how it can help aid Digital India initiatives, including the development of smart cities.
The programme will focus on delivering research, innovation and industrial pilots that use next-generation 5G networks as an enabler," Ericsson's Head of Region India Paolo Colella said.
This programme has been conceptualised to fast-track realisation of Digital India initiatives and aid application development for Indian start-ups and industries, the statement said.
In addition to hosting the Center of Excellence, IIT Delhi will conduct research and development to explore how some of the country's challenges can be addressed with mobile technologies, it added.
"IIT Delhi has been committed to developing the latest technologies in close collaboration with industry. We are glad to be hosting the Ericsson Centre of Excellence and Incubation Centre, providing a big leap forward for 5G technologies ecosystem development in the country," IIT Delhi Directo rRamgopal Rao said.