In a major boost for the Department of Telecom, the made-in-India standard 5Gi is all set to be formally incorporated in the global 5G standard (3GPP).

This will enable telecom equipment makers, especially the domestic players, to start using this standard to develop network gear for 5G services. According to sources, a formal agreement is expected to be announced in the coming week. The DoT has been coordinating with the global players for the incorporation of 5Gi with the 3GPP standard. 3GPP is an international body that defines the global standard for telecom sector. The new standard was developed under the supervision of Telecom Standard Development Society India and DoT with major contribution from all major IITs and IISc.

Key features

Some of the features of the 5Gi standard include enabling higher power for mobile phones. The handset power levels have been doubled under the harmonisation of 5Gi with the global standard (increased from 23dbm to 26dbm). A modulation scheme, technically called pi/2 BPSK, which was earlier optional under the 3GPP standard, has now become mandatory. However, some other key features developed under 5Gi have not been incorporated by 3GPP, according to sources.

The key selling point of the standard is that it would be especially pertinent for local use, and bolster rural connectivity. It is also supported by Indian technology companies, including TCS, Saankhya Labs, HFCL, Tejas Network. The new standard could make their equipment more relevant for Indian 5G deployment.

A key win for the made in India standard is that the proposed features of 5Gi will now be globally deployed and implemented. Furthermore, any future development of 5Gi will happen under the aegis of 3GPP, which means 5Gi is unlikely to be deployed independently. Thus the concerns of MNCs such as Nokia, Ericsson as well the operators-Bharti, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea, that standalone deployment of 5Gi would fragment the ecosystem, are abated.

Without global standardisation, there would have been be an additional burden of testing all elements of the infrastructure and devices for various networks. “In this globalised world standardisation and interoperability is the key to driving economies of scale and faster deployment. Otherwise, you have another TDS CDMA or FOMA story, where technologies did not go anywhere due to the lack of standardisation,” said an industry expert.