We missed this earlier: The Department of Telecommunications is inviting volunteers for working groups examining the applications of 5G technology in the following fields: smart water, sewage management, smart agriculture, smart transport, fintech, smart healthcare, smart education, smart grid, and “industry”. The DoT invited volunteers or further nominations for the groups in a circular on November 10 first reported by CNBC Awaaz’s Aseem Manchanda. The working groups’ stated objective is to study how 5G technology is applied in the above fields, and to suggest implementation methods for India.
While the eight working groups were already constituted and met on October 29, the DoT said that they needed further expert guidance to proceed. Interestingly, in spite of the government more or less pressuring Indian telcos to get Chinese telecom hardware out of their networks, two representatives from Huawei are represented in four working groups on smart transport, fintech, smart healthcare, and industry.
All the working groups are led by members of the Telecom Engineering Centre, a standardisation body for telecom under the DoT. Other members, with some overlap across working groups, are drawn from companies like Qualcomm, Ericsson, Dell, Nokia, and French facial recognition and digital ID technology multinational IDEMIA. Other B2B companies and institutions are represented too, like Rohde & Schwarz; a non-descript testing lab called ITEMCLAB; the Bipin Tripathi Kumaon Institute of Technology; IT consultancy Crezare; and venture capital firm Gilda Ventures.
While there has been no deadline specified for volunteers and nominations, the DoT urged names to be sent in “at the earliest”.