IT major HCL Technologies has launched an advanced testing facility in Chennai to enable global telecom infrastructure original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to test and validate 5G solutions, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.

Touted to be the first of its kind in India, the facility is equipped with high-end scanners that enable global OEMs to test large cellular base stations as well as small form factor antennas used in mobile phones, smart gadgets, health monitoring systems and remote surveillance systems.

Currently equipped to test and validate 5G telecom antennas for frequency bands up to 7 GHz, the lab is scalable to test millimetre-wave frequency 5G infrastructure to help OEMs and telecom service providers quickly and accurately measure critical parameters.

"We're committed to advancing next-gen mobile telephony with the highest levels of quality, performance and technology. We have a team of highly experienced and skilled engineers to test and verify cellular and non-cellular products with great precision," said Vijay Guntur, President, Engineering and R&D Services, HCLTech.

"These parameters help telecom infrastructure OEMs accelerate time to market, optimize cellular network and deliver seamless connectivity on voice and data," added Guntur.

The development comes as technology and telecom companies across India are rolling out plans and services to boost 5G infrastructure in the country. According to a report by Deloitte, the economic impact of 5G could potentially be $450 billion by 2040, owing to cross-sector contributions for productivity and efficiency gains through 5G use case deployment across industries. The report predicted the growth of 5G Standalone (SA) networks will witness and further accelerate private network deployment.

"The potential benefits of 5G private networks in sectors, such as manufacturing, retail, agriculture, transportation, and health care cannot be ignored. It is time for Indian enterprises to explore the possibilities and take a leap in their digital transformation journey," said Peeyush Vaish, partner and telecom sector leader, Deloitte India.

According to CRISIL Ratings, about a third of wireless data users in India, or around 300 million subscribers, are expected to use 5G services by March 2025, as against an estimated 20-25 million as of March 2023.

"Subscribers of 5G services will provide a fillip to data consumption because they would upgrade to higher data packs for better speeds, which will drive up overall average revenue per user (ARPU) and return metrics for telecommunication companies (telcos)," the rating agency said.

The increase in ARPUs could drive up the sector’s return on capital employed (RoCE) to 12-14% amid massive investments of ₹2-2.5 lakh crore planned for 5G networks over the medium term, according to the rating agency.

 Shares of HCL Tech were trading 1.09% lower to hit an intraday low of ₹1,116.95 apiece on the BSE. The scrip closed at ₹1,128.95. The market capitalisation of HCL Tech on Wednesday stood at ₹3,06,345.65 crore as 1,46,696 shares exchanged hands on the BSE against the two-week average of 0.55 lakh shares.

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