The department of telecommunications (DoT) in partnership with other government departments and private companies has launched 5G Hackathon to identify and promote India-centric uses cases of 5G technology.
Launched on February 21, the 5G hackathon will conclude at the India Mobile Congress (IMC) on October 16, 2020, and will be conducted over three phases. In the first phase, the hackathon will accept and shortlist 100 ideas. The second and third phase will involve mentoring and shortlisting of 30 startups. The shortlisted 100 ideas will share a prize pool of INR 2.5 Cr. In addition to startups, developers, students, SMEs, academic institutions and Indian registered companies can participate in the hackathon.
Startups can send their ideas based on 5G technology across categories such as healthtech, education, governance, agritech, environment, public safety and disaster management enterprise, smart cities and infrastructure, cybersecurity, banking, finance and insurance, logistics and transportation, media and broadcasting, among others to participate in the 5G hackathon.
These innovations of these 30 startups will be then tested on 5G trial network followed by felicitation of the three best ideas during IMC. These startups will also get market opportunities to scale and implement their developed 5G applications.
Besides DoT, the ministry of information and technology (MeitY), Digital India, Startup India, ministry of micro, small and medium enterprises, department of science and technology, Testing Center of Excellence (TCOE) India, Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC), Telecommunications Standards Development Society of India (TSDSI), the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), India Mobile Congress, KPMG, various IITs and IIMs are also backing this hackathon.
5G or the fifth generation technology increases the downloading and uploading speeds over the mobile network. Moreover, by reducing latency, 5G offers a more stable network across connections.
While 5G networks are expected to be launched in India by 2020 there is still no concrete date or timeline in this regard. In December 2019, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad had said that the centre is looking to finalise its framework for 5G technologies.
Prasad also announced that the field trials of 5G services will begin in the last quarter of FY20 i.e. January to March this year. As of now, the government is looking to sell the 5G spectrum in the bands of 3.3-3.6 GHz and the 700 MHz.
However, the cellular operators association of India (COAI), representing private players Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, said that India’s prices for the 5G spectrum are much higher than the international average. The discussions over prices of 5G spectrum might delay the launch of 5G even further.