Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI’s) radio interface technology (RIT) has qualified the step 7 of an 8 step process of ITU-R, thereby paving the way for its inclusion in the IMT-2020 specification of ITU-R as an independent technology for  mobile systems which are generally referred to as 5G, at the just concluded ITU-R WP5D meeting #35e.

As a penultimate step, the description of the TSDSI technology has been included in the draft IMT-2020 specification document which is being developed and is expected to be finalised in the meetings of ITU-R WP5D to be held in October and November 2020.

TSDSI standard fulfils the requirements of affordable connectivity in rural, remote and sparsely populated areas. Enhanced cell coverage enabled by this standard, will be of great value in countries and regions that rely heavily on mobile technologies for connectivity but cannot afford dense deployment of base stations due to lack of deep fibre penetration, poor economics and challenges of geographical terrain.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN body that is setting requirements for IMT 2020 (aka 5G), had earlier adopted the Low-Mobility-Large-Cell (LMLC) use case proposed by TSDSI as a mandatory 5G requirement in 2017. This test case addresses the problem of rural coverage by mandating large cell sizes in a rural terrain and scattered areas in developing as well as developed countries. Several countries supported this as they saw a similar need in their jurisdictions as well. TSDSI successfully introduced an indigenously developed 5G candidate Radio Interface Technology, compatible with 3GPP Technology, at the ITU in 2019 for IMT 2020 ratification. The RIT incorporates India-specific technology enhancements that can enable larger coverage for meeting the LMLC requirements. It exploits a new transmit waveform that increases cell range developed by research institutions in India (IIT Hyderabad, CEWiT and IIT Madras) and supported by several Indian companies. It enables low-cost rural coverage and has additional features which enable higher spectrum efficiency and improved latency.

Acceptance of TSDSI RIT as a 5G technology standard, a first for India, catapults India into the elite club of countries with expertise in defining global standards. It is a trailblazer that establishes our potential to deliver more such solutions that are appropriate to the specific requirements of the developing world and rely on indigenously developed technologies – Design Local, Deploy Global.