The Department of Telecommunications, India (DoT) has approved 43 startups and MSMEs – micro, small and medium enterprises – for a grant of ₹50 crores to develop indigenous 5G equipment and technologies. The initiative is a step toward preparing India for the rollout of 5G services.
DoT has approved the grant under the Digital Communication Innovation Square initiative through the Champion Services Sector Scheme. The government of India had invited applications for the scheme in April to promote an ecosystem for research, IPR creation, design, and manufacturing.
The grant will be utilized for developing telecom technologies, including 5G core, NMS, RAN, IMS, devices, chipsets, ICT solutions, and deep tech enhancing applications. The aim is to create competencies in domestic entities and prepare the country to roll out 5G services.
The names of approved organizations include Coral Telecom, BKC Aggregators, SASTRA University, Wisig Networks, Versatile Antenna Systems, and several others.
The Digital Communication Innovation Square Initiative was started to foster an ecosystem of indigenously developed telecom equipment and reduce reliance on imported equipment and technologies.
According to the scheme, startups will get a grant of Rs 50 lakhs, and MSMEs will get a grant of Rs 2 crore. Consortiums will get a grant of Rs 10 crore. Financial support will be provided to only those projects and ideas that have reached the concept level.
The scheme will also provide mentorships, incubation support, and technical advisory support during the project to the startups and MSMEs.