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May 18, 2021 Tuesday 04:58:20 PM IST

India's Villages to Join the 5G Revolution

Leadership Instincts

India is set to ensure 5 G connectivity in the coming years to our remotest villages thanks to indigenous technologies developed by leading technology  institutes and industry.

The development of 5G started in 2016 through a forum called the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP). It's a partnership between 7 global standards Development Organisations (SDO's) of which Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TDSI) is a member. India had campaigned for adoption of Low-Mobility-Large Cell (LMLC) in view of its advantages in Indian rural mobility scenario. This led the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to adopt it as global standard since 2017. Among the organisations in India collectively working for deployment of 5G include IIT Hyderabad, CEWit, IIT Madras, Tejas Networks and Reliance Jio. IIT's have contributed immensely to innovations in global 5G standards. 

Conventional 4 G and 5 G adopted a waveform technology called orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) that is quite suitable for the downlink transmission (that is the link between a base station (BS) and user equipment (UE) but not so well suitable for the reverse link (that is the link between UE and BS). The limitations of OFDM is due to low power efficiency of 10%. Prof Kiran Kumar Kuchi of IIT Hyderabad, who hold a PhD from University of Texas and an expert in wireless communications designed a new waveform called "pi/2 BPSK with spectrum shaping" that provides close to 100% power efficiency and yet retains all the other advantages of OFDM.  

The development of the new wave form can provide broadband connectivity to rural users using ultra-long range cell sites. The nation stands to gain enormously from 5G penetration in rural and urban areas as well as in nurturing the nascent Indian R&D ecosystem to make a global impact. 


The 'Indigenous 5G Testbed' program with a project outlay of Rs 224 cr to IIT Hyderabad, IIT Madras, CEWiT, IIT Kanpur, Bombay etc and Indian Institute of Science was launched three years ago. The program has resulted in development of prototype base stations, CPE/UE and NB-IoT chipsets. 

Innovations

-5G-RAN- 5G Radio Access Network based on emerging technology ORAN (Open-Radio-Access-Network).  This allows rapid deployment of low-cost, software upgradeable 5G base stations in significantly higher volumes and larger densities than the current 4G network. 

-Koala 5G NB-IoT chip (Narrow Band IoT) was developed as IoT applications require a few bits to be exchanged with the internet intermittently and contrasts with the requirement of high speed broadband.  (IIT Hyderabad and WiSig).


Courtesy: KIRI ITH quarterly e-newsletter, April 2021, IIT Hyderabad

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