Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Area office and Innovation Centre in India on March 22. He also unveiled the Bharat 6G Vision Document, and launched the 6G R&D Test Bed and the ‘Call before u Dig’ (CBuD) app.
India signed a Host Country Agreement in March 2022 with ITU – the United Nations’ specialised agency for information and communication technologies (ICTs) – for the establishment of Area Office. This office will serve India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Afghanistan and Iran, enhancing coordination among nations and fostering mutually beneficial economic cooperation in the region.
Speaking at the launch of the new ITU office, ITU Secretary General Doreen-Bogdan Martin expressed confidence that ITU’s presence in the region will help the introduction of advanced technologies, improve capacity development, and foster entrepreneurship and partnerships while also responding to leads on the ground from digital services, skills, cyber security and digital inclusion.
The newly unveiled Bharat 6G vision document aims to develop a roadmap and action plans for 6G in India, and the 6G Test Bed will provide academic institutions, industries, start-ups, MSMEs, and others a platform to test and validate the evolving ICT technologies. The CBuD app is a tool envisaged to avoid uncoordinated digging and excavation and prevent damage to underlying assets like optical fiber cables.