“To solve Internet Woes of Rural India, TDB has agreed to provide financial assistance of Rs 2.97 crores, out of the total project cost of Rs 19.79 crores to Astrome Technologies,” said a press statement by the Ministry of Science & Technology.
Astrome’s GigaMesh is essentially an E-band (60-90 GHz) radio that provides multi-point-to-point communication.
“The idea behind development of GigaMesh is that fibre-like capacity is needed at every telecom site but deploying the same at each site is not feasible, due to cost and access related constraints. As 5G deployment happens, the number of cell sites will increase and each cell site will require multi-Gbps throughputs,” the statement noted, adding that the solution offers lower CapEx and OpEx costs.
“The ‘GigaMesh’ technology will go a long way to achieve the objectives of cost-effective network solutions for country like India, especially for rural area. We at TDB, are rightly poised to handhold such Technology startups, who aims to make unique contributions to ‘AatmaNirbharta’,” said Rajesh Kumar Pathak, IP&TAFS, Secretary, TDB.
Astrome and the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) have signed a contract to trial “fibre-like” connectivity with GigaMesh in 15 districts across India. The solution, as per an earlier statement, can provide fibre-like backhaul capacity, paving the way for 5G rollout.
The telecom department, meanwhile, has signed an agreement with ITI Limited and state-run telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to fund pilot projects under the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF). DoT, BSNL and ITI Limited will fund the pilot projects of E-band, LTE indigenous technologies, including the integration of 4G/5G prototype with Centre for Development of Telematics (C-DoT) Core.
Homegrown telecom companies Astrome technologies, Lekha Wireless Solutions, Resonous Technologies, Signaltron would be executing these projects in partnership with C-DoT and DoT, PSUs BSNL and ITI.
In the 5G spectrum sale from July 26, the Centre plans to sell 72GHz of spectrum valid for 20 years in 10 bands ranging from low (600 Mhz, 700 Mhz, 800 Mhz, 900 Mhz, 1800 Mhz, 2100 Mhz, 2300 Mhz, 2500 Mhz) and mid (3.3-3.67 Ghz) to high (26 Ghz) frequencies.