At the recently concluded TSG Radio Access Network (TSG RAN) 3GPP Plenary Meeting, 3GPP decided to merge India’s own 5th generation standard 5Gi with 3GPP’s global 5G standard. 3GPP and TSDSI also set a plan of action and milestones to allow the merger of 5Gi into 5G.
India gained approval from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) for the country’s own standards on 5G technology in August 2021. Dubbed as 5Gi standards, it primarily targets expanding 5G coverage across rural India using a feature called Low Mobility Large Cell (LMLC), which can enhance the signal transmission range of a base station for a telecom service provider.
As per the plan of action, the 3GPP will endorse the two Rel-17 Change Requests (CRs), clarifying the specification of the Pi/2-BPSK modulation scheme, which supports a low peak-to-average-power ratio (PAPR) transmissions. Besides, the RAN WG4-led Rel-17 work item’s objectives and a way forward for the same project are changed.
TSDSI, on the other hand, has pledged to combine 5Gi into 3GPP and to pursue merged 3GPP 5G specifications in India, with no further 5Gi changes in ITU-R.
According to a statement released by 3GPP, the organizations that develop the protocol for mobile telecommunications will approve the CRs currently endorsed and be implemented into 3GPP Rel-17 NR specifications as soon as TSDI completes its side of actions.
As per an ET Telecom report, the merger will facilitate 3GPP to support all markets with a single solution that will permit 5G to evolve globally.
5Gi is India’s first-ever presence in influencing global communication standards
5Gi is the first-ever involvement of India in influencing international communication standards, which were previously dominated by Europe, the United States, and, more recently, China. When the engineers and scientists at the Indian Institute of Technological first established the 5Gi standards, they envisioned it as a domestic standard that would bridge the urban-rural divide in technology accessible for the future 5G launch.
While the ITU has given its approval, the 3GPP’s approval is required for widespread adoption of the 5Gi standards. ITU, a.k.a., the International Telecommunications Union, is a UN body tasked with overseeing all aspects of information and communication technologies.