Only domestic network equipment may be used for 5G in Russia; Revision of ITU-R M.1036 urgently needed

Russian state radio frequencies commission (SRFC) has decided that only equipment of domestic origin may be use for the development of 5G in the country, reports Comnews Russia citing Oleg Ivanov, deputy minister in the Ministry of Digitization. stated:

When deploying 5G in Russia, only domestic network equipment should be used. Most likely, during the construction of Internet of Things networks, base stations with the status of domestic equipment will be needed. This follows from the results of yesterday’s meeting of the SCRF.

“Naturally, domestic equipment will be used. This is a common decision across the entire 5G spectrum. will use exclusively domestic equipment. There is such a solution. ” He added that according to the principle of technical neutrality, operators will be able to build a 5G network in all frequency bands in which they already have the right to build LTE networks.

“In connection with the general trend for domestic equipment, they were given sufficient time to resolve this issue. We will insist [on the exclusive use of domestic IoT base stations], and then the decision is up to the management,” added Oleg Ivanov.

A list of frequencies for 5G services for Russia has been approved. The frequency ranges are: 694-790 МHz, 2,300-2,400 МHz, 2,570-2,620 МHz, 4,400-4,990 МHz and 24.25-27.5 GHz. The 3,400-3,800 MHz band is absent from the list.

Rostec has been identified as the basic contractor to ensure the production of domestic equipment for 5G networks. The NIIR representative at the meeting said that tests of the Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) technology, which will enable the deployment of 5G on the operators’ existing frequencies for 2G, 3G and 4G, are planned to be carried out on the commercial network in December 2020 and completed by March 2021, submitting the results to the SCRF no later than June 2021. He noted that the testing uses equipment from Nokia, Huawei and Ericsson.

Last week, a roadmap for the development of 5G in Russia was approved, according to which the delivery of domestic 5G equipment will begin in 2024 (see ComNews news of November 20, 2020). The press service of PJSC MegaFon explained: “The clarification of the SCRF has been made in accordance with the provisions of the roadmap. Taking into account the decisions made, we forecast a delay in the introduction of 5G technology in Russia for five to six years. According to our data, at the moment, services based on 5G are presented over than 100 operators in the world. ”

PJSC “MTS” is ready to purchase competitive Russian equipment with the required characteristics, quality and prices. “The main thing is that this does not lead to a lag in the deployment of 5G in Russia. The company regularly comes up with initiatives in this direction. In particular, in December 2019, MTS signed an agreement with the Element group of companies and Skoltech on the development and production of 5G in Russia -equipment based on international open radio access standards of the Open RAN project, and in October this year, within the framework of this project, a 5G pilot zone was opened in Skolkovo. We are also working on other projects to test domestic equipment, “the press service said. MTS to the ComNews correspondent.

Igor Guryanov, General Director of Spectrum Management LLC, believes that even if we assume the readiness of the entire line of domestically produced radio access equipment on the SA architecture in 2023, all existing networks in Russia are now working with the NSA architecture, and for the transition to a new architecture on new equipment, time. “Therefore, taking into account the announced plans for the readiness of domestic equipment, full-scale 5G networks are unlikely to appear before 2025. Some dedicated 5G networks without the baggage of already operating LTE networks and without the need to work in many bands at once may appear earlier,” Igor Guryanov comments. a solution for 5G networks is possible if you make efforts in terms of time and funding comparable to those of the largest manufacturers of telecommunications equipment. For this reason, if domestic equipment appears, then most likely it will be in the form of integration and refinement of open marketable components of the 5G solution, for example, within the Open RAN concept and similar concepts for the core and transport component of the network. And if the state insists on the “domesticity” of the equipment, then it would be correct not only to write down the requirements for import substitution, but also to define the requirements for open interfaces and criteria for classifying equipment as domestic when it is assembled from software and hardware components of foreign origin. “However, I am sure Igor Guryanov, even this path has a lot of problems associated with the complexity of the implementation of a commercial competitive product in the market of 5G network infrastructure. ” If the Open RAN concept and related processes stall in the USA, Europe and the developed countries of Asia, Russia will not be able to take advantage of open developments in this area for the so-called domestic equipment. In any case, even in advanced countries and operators, it will take at least several years to solve many problems related to the integration of open solutions, “concluded Igor Guryanov.

Vitaly Solonin, head of the Wireless Technologies Department at J’son & Partners Consulting, agrees: the requirement to build 5G networks in Russia exclusively on domestic equipment will delay the launch of such networks in the country for at least several more years. “The first contracts with operators for the supply of Russian base stations are planned to be concluded in 2023, but this is hard to believe, primarily due to the unavailability of domestic chipsets for 5G. 5G networks are the basis for the digitalization of many industries, transport, healthcare, education. Dozens of projects have been launched in the world, and maybe hundreds already, demonstrating the potential of 5G and the economic effect of this technology. ”According to J’son & Partners Consulting forecasts, by 2030.


New Russian Private 5G Network:

Separately, Russian communications service provider Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) is ready to deploy an Ericsson-powered 5G-ready dedicated network for gold and silver producer Polymetal at the Nezhdaninskoye gold deposit in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). The network will be introduced at the end of 2020 and will be built on Ericsson Dedicated Networks solution. The network will provide critical communications infrastructure and the Internet of Things (IoT).

After successfully implementing a number of pilot projects with leading Russian enterprises and deploying Private LTE and 5G-ready networks for various industrial needs, MTS will build the first commercial Private LTE network in Russia for remote monitoring and managing critical processes in difficult geographic and weather conditions.  Together with Polymetal, one of the world’s largest producers of gold and silver, MTS will deploy Russia’s first 5G-ready Private network at the Nezhdaninskoye gold deposit.


ITU recommendation M.1036 revision not completed:

In a contribution approved by ITU-R WP 5D to the November 23, 2020 ITU-R SG5 meeting, the Russian Federation stated that the development of a draft revision of Recommendation ITU-R M.1036 (Frequency arrangements to be used for the terrestrial component of IMT), taking into account the WRC-19 decisions, is urgently needed.  The last few 5D meetings failed to consider proposals on amending this Recommendation.  The Russian Federation, along with this author, believe that the revision of ITU-R M.1036 is an urgent, critical issue that requires an additional 5D meeting to address.

It’s somewhat of a contradiction that ITU-R WP5D approved IMT 2020.specs (3GPP NR + TSDSI 5Gi for India) at its Nov 2020 meeting, but the Frequency WG was not in session so no action could be taken to revise M.1036. Hence, there are NO assigned frequencies/ arrangements for terrestrial 5G!



2 thoughts on “Only domestic network equipment may be used for 5G in Russia; Revision of ITU-R M.1036 urgently needed

  1. Email from Joanne Wilson, Deputy to the Director ITU Radio Communications Bureau (ITU-R):

    ITU-R Recommendations are voluntary (non-binding) unless they, or parts thereof, have been incorporated by reference (IBR) into the Radio Regulations. Rec ITU-R M.1036 has not been incorporated by reference into the Radio Regulations and its implementation is voluntary. As a recommendation that addresses the frequency arrangement for an application (not a service!), there would be no context under which M.1036 would be considered for IBR. Still, M.1036 is one of the most heavily debated recommendations because most countries follow it as the basis for their subsequent domestic rulemakings.

  2. As per the Oct 15, 2021 conclusion of ITU-R WP 5D’s 39th (virtual) meeting, the ETSI (TC DECT) and DECT Forum IMT 2020/M.2150 SRIT proposal is ‘a qualifying SRIT’ and therefore will go forward for further consideration in Step 7. With the confirmed name “DECT 5G – SRIT.”

    SWG IMT Specifications processed the received contributions from ETSI TC DECT and Nufront to the Preliminary Draft Focused Revision to M.2150 which was provisionally consented at WP 5D #38 meeting. However, Nufront agreed to withdraw its submission and consider opportunity of making a new candidate technology submission with no prejudice in future revision of Recommendation ITU-R M.2150 “Detailed specifications of the terrestrial radio interfaces of International Mobile Telecommunications-2020 (IMT-2020).”

    Sadly, WP 5D could not agree on the revision of M.1036 Frequency Arrangements for Terrestrial IMT, so there are no standardized frequencies to be used for 5G IMT 2020/M.2150 including the 3 sets of mmWave frequencies WRC 19 assigned for 5G terrestrial use. It became clear during the discussions during SWG Frequency Arrangements meeting that there was a fundamental difference of opinions regarding some proposed edits and the question of whether and how certain decisions of WRC-19 would need to be reflected in Recommendation ITU-R M.1036. In this situation, the SWG agreed to postpone further discussions on the revision of Recommendation ITU-R M.1036 to the October 2022 meeting of WP 5D and the workplan was updated accordingly.

    Hence, the revision of ITU-R M.1036 can’t be approved till Nov 2022 at the annual meeting of ITU-R SG 5. However, that deadline could be missed if SWG Frequency Arrangements can’t reach an agreement at their Oct 2022 WP 5D meeting.

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