India’s TSDSI candidate IMT 2020 RIT with Low Mobility Large Cell (LMLC) for rural coverage of 5G services

India’s telecom standards organization TSDSI has submitted its candidate Radio Interface Technology (RIT) to the IMT-2020 evaluation at the ITU-R WP 5D meeting #32 being held in Buzios, Brazil from 9 July 2019 to 17 July 2019.  TSDSI’s IMT 2020 submission is one of five candidate RIT proposals- see NOTE at bottom of this article for more information.

TSDSI’s RIT is described in document ITU-R WP5D-AR Contribution 770.  This RIT has been developed to address the rural requirements by enabling the implementation of  Low Mobility Large Cell (LMLC), particularly with emphasis on low-cost rural coverage of 5G wireless network services.  TSDSI believes that this RIT will also help to meet the rural requirements of other developing countries.  We agree!

TSDSI proposal on Low Mobility Large Cell (LMLC) configuration has been included as a mandatory test configuration under the Rural eMBB (enhanced Mobile BroadBand) test environment in IMT 2020 Technical Performance Requirements (TPR) in ITU-R with an enhanced Inter Sire Distance (ISD) of 6 km. Incorporation of LMLC in IMT2020 will help address the requirements of typical Indian rural settings and will be a key enabler for bridging the rural-urban divide with 5G rollouts.

–>The Indian administration (ITU member country) extends its support to the RIT of TSDSI and solicits the support of ITU Member States to support this proposal.

Indian wireless network operators, including Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, have expressed interest in LMLC.

Kiran Kumar Kuchi, a professor at IIT Hyderabad is building a 5G testbed there.  The system will exceed IMT 2020 5G performance requirements including Low Mobility Large Cell.

IIT Hyderabad 5G Testbed.   Photo courtesy of IIT Hyderabad.


TSDSI’s baseline RIT (initial description template) is documented in ITU-R WP 5D Document 5D/980: Revision 2 to Document IMT-2020/7-E, submitted on 14 February 2019.  Several updates to TSDSI RIT included the updated characteristics template, initial link budget template, etc.  They are in Document 5D/1138: Attachment Part 1: 5D/1138!P1; Attachment Part 2: 5D/1138!P2; Attachment Part 3: 5D/1138!P3; Attachment Part 4: 5D/1138!P4)

Here are a few key excerpts from the TSDSI baseline RIT:

Describe details of the radio interface architecture and protocol stack such as: – Logical channels – Control channels – Traffic channels Transport channels and/or physical channels.

RAN/Radio Architectures: This RIT contains NR standalone architecture. The following paragraphs provide a high-level summary of radio interface protocols and channels.

Radio Protocols: The protocol stack for the user plane includes the following: SDAP, PDCP, RLC, MAC, and PHY sublayers (terminated in UE and gNB). On the Control plane, the following protocols are defined: – RRC, PDCP, RLC, MAC and PHY sublayers (terminated in UE and gNB); – NAS protocol (terminated in UE and AMF) For details on protocol services and functions, please refer to 3GPP specifications (e.g. [38.300]).

Radio Channels (Physical, Transport and Logical Channels):

  • The physical layer offers service to the MAC sublayer transport channels. The MAC sublayer offers service to the RLC sublayer logical channels.
  • The RLC sublayer offers service to the PDCP sublayer RLC channels.
  • The PDCP sublayer offers service to the SDAP and RRC sublayer radio bearers: data radio bearers (DRB) for user plane data and signalling radio bearers (SRB) for control plane data.
  • The SDAP sublayer offers 5GC QoS flows and DRBs mapping function.

The physical channels defined in the downlink are: – the Physical Downlink Shared Channel (PDSCH), – the Physical Downlink Control Channel (PDCCH), – the Physical Broadcast Channel (PBCH).

The physical channels defined in the uplink are: – the Physical Random Access Channel (PRACH), – the Physical Uplink Shared Channel (PUSCH), – and the Physical Uplink Control Channel (PUCCH). In addition to the physical channels above, PHY layer signals are defined, which can be reference signals, primary and secondary synchronization signals.

The following transport channels, and their mapping to PHY channels, are defined:

Uplink: – Uplink Shared Channel (UL-SCH), mapped to PUSCH – Random Access Channel (RACH), mapped to PRACH

Downlink: – Downlink Shared Channel (DL-SCH), mapped to PDSCH – Broadcast channel (BCH), mapped to PBCH – Paging channel (PCH), mapped to (TBD)

Logical channels are classified into two groups: Control Channels and Traffic Channels.

Control channels: – Broadcast Control Channel (BCCH): a downlink channel for broadcasting system control information. – Paging Control Channel (PCCH): a downlink channel that transfers paging information and system information change notifications. – Common Control Channel (CCCH): channel for transmitting control information between UEs and network. – Dedicated Control Channel (DCCH): a point-to-point bi-directional channel that transmits dedicated control information between a UE and the network.

Traffic channels: Dedicated Traffic Channel (DTCH), which can exist in both UL and DL. In Downlink, the following connections between logical channels and transport channels exist: – BCCH can be mapped to BCH, or DL-SCH; – PCCH can be mapped to PCH; – CCCH, DCCH, DTCH can be mapped to DL-SCH;

In Uplink, the following connections between logical channels and transport channels exist: – CCCH, DCCH, DTCH can be mapped to UL-SCH.


1. Method to improve broadcast and paging control channel efficiency over access elements.

2. Reduce the impact of congestion in the data path and control path to improve overall efficiency in the network.

3. Other aspects

NR QoS architecture The QoS architecture in NG-RAN (connected to 5GC), can be summarized as follows: For each UE, 5GC establishes one or more PDU Sessions. For each UE, the NG-RAN establishes one or more Data Radio Bearers (DRB) per PDU Session. The NG-RAN maps packets belonging to different PDU sessions to different DRBs. Hence, the NG-RAN establishes at least one default DRB for each PDU Session. NAS level packet filters in the UE and in the 5GC associate UL and DL packets with QoS Flows. AS-level mapping rules in the UE and in the NG-RAN associate UL and DL QoS Flows with DRBs

– Carrier Aggregation (CA) In case of CA, the multi-carrier nature of the physical layer is only exposed to the MAC layer for which one HARQ entity is required per serving cell.

– Dual Connectivity (DC) In DC, the radio protocol architecture that a radio bearer uses depends on how the radio bearer is setup.


Four bearer types (information carrying channels) exist: MCG bearer, MCG split bearer, SCG bearer and SCG split bearer.

The following terminology/definitions apply:

– Master gNB: in dual connectivity, the gNB which terminates at least NG-C.

– Secondary gNB: in dual connectivity, the gNB that is providing additional radio resources for the UE but is not the Master node.

– Master Cell Group (MCG): in dual connectivity, a group of serving cells associated with the MgNB

– Secondary Cell Group (SCG): in dual connectivity, a group of serving cells associated with the SgNB

– MCG bearer: in dual connectivity, a bearer whose radio protocols are only located in the MCG.

– MCG split bearer: in dual connectivity, a bearer whose radio protocols are split at the MgNB and belong to both MCG and SCG.

– SCG bearer: in dual connectivity, a bearer whose radio protocols are only located in the SCG.

– SCG split bearer: in dual connectivity, a bearer whose radio protocols are split at the SgNB and belong to both SCG and MCG.

In case of DC, the UE is configured with two MAC entities: one MAC entity for the MCG and one MAC entity for the SCG. For a split bearer, UE is configured over which link (or both) the UE transmits UL PDCP PDUs. On the link which is not responsible for UL PDCP PDUs transmission, the RLC layer only transmits corresponding ARQ feedback for the downlink data.

What is the bit rate required for transmitting feedback information? The information will be provided in later update.


LMLC Detailed Description – Characteristics template for TSDSI RIT:

The description template provides the characteristics description of the TSDSI RIT.

For this characteristic template, it has chosen to address the characteristics that are viewed to be very crucial to assist in evaluation activities for independent evaluation groups, as well as to facilitate the understanding of the RIT.

Channel access: Describe in detail how RIT/SRIT accomplishes initial channel access, (e.g. contention or non-contention based).

Initial channel access is typically accomplished via the “random access procedure” (assuming no dedicated/scheduled resources are allocated). The random access procedure can be contention based (e.g. at initial connection from idle mode) or non-contention based (e.g. during Handover to a new cell). Random access resources and parameters are configured by the network and signaled to the UE (via broadcast or dedicated signaling). Contention based random access procedure encompasses the transmission of a random access preamble by the UE (subject to possible contention with other UEs), followed by a random access response (RAR) in DL (including allocating specific radio resources for the uplink transmission). Afterwards, the UE transmits the initial UL message (e.g. RRC connection Request) using the allocated resources, and wait for a contention resolution message in DL (to confirming access to that UE). The UE could perform multiple attempts until it is successful in accessing the channel or until a timer (supervising the procedure) elapses. Non-contention based random access procedure foresees the assignment of a dedicated random access resource/preamble to a UE (e.g. part of an HO command). This avoids the contention resolution phase, i.e. only the random access preamble and random access response messages are needed to get channel access.

From a PHY perspective, a random access preamble is transmitted (UL) in a PRACH, random access response (DL) in a PDSCH, UL transmission in a PUSCH, and contention resolution message (DL) in a PDSCH.


Radio interface functional aspects:
Multiple access schemes

Which access scheme(s) does the proposal use? Describe in detail the multiple access schemes employed with their main parameters.

–        Downlink and Uplink:

The multiple access is a combination of

●      OFDMA: Synchronous/scheduling-based; the transmission to/from different UEs uses mutually orthogonal frequency assignments. Granularity in frequency assignment: One resource block consisting of 12 subcarriers. Multiple sub-carrier spacings are supported including 15kHz, 30kHz, 60kHz and 120kHz for data (see Item and reference therein).

1.         CP-OFDM is applied for downlink. DFT-spread OFDM and CP-OFDM are available for uplink.

2.           Spectral confinement technique(s) (e.g. filtering, windowing, etc.) for a waveform at the transmitter is transparent to the receiver. When such confinement techniques are used, the spectral utilization ratio can be enhanced.

●      TDMA: Transmission to/from different UEs with separation in time. Granularity: One slot consists of 14 OFDM symbols and the physical length of one slot ranges from 0.125ms to 1ms depending on the sub-carrier spacing (for more details on the frame structure, see Item and the references therein).

●      SDMA: Possibility to transmit to/from multiple users using the same time/frequency resource (SDMA a.k.a. “multi-user MIMO”) as part of the advanced-antenna capabilities (for more details on the advanced-antenna capabilities, see Item and the reference therein)

At least an UL transmission scheme without scheduling grant is supported for initial access. 

Inter-cell interference suppressed by processing gain of channel coding allowing for a frequency reuse of one (for more details on channel-coding, see Item and the reference therein).                                                                                                         

(Note: Synchronous means that timing offset between UEs is within cyclic prefix by e.g. timing alignment.) 

For NB-IoT, the multiple access is a combination of OFDMA, TDMA, where OFDMA and TDMA are as follows

·       OFDMA:

n     UL: DFT-spread OFDM. Granularity in frequency domain: A single sub-carrier with either 3.75 kHz or 15 kHz sub-carrier spacing, or 3, 6, or 12 sub-carriers with a sub-carrier spacing of 15 kHz. A resource block consists of 12 sub-carriers with 15 kHz sub-carrier spacing, or 48 sub-carriers with 3.75 kHz sub-carrier spacing 180 kHz.

n     DL: Granularity in frequency domain: one resource block consisting of 6 or 12 subcarriers with 15 kHz sub-carrier spacing90 or 180 kHz

·       TDMA: Transmission to/from different UEs with separation in time

n     UL: Granularity: One resource unit of 1 ms, 2 ms, 4 ms, 8 ms, with 15 kHz sub-carrier spacing, depending on allocated number of sub-carrier(s); or 32 ms with 3.75 kHz sub-carrier spacing (for more details on the frame structure, see Item and the references therein)

n     DL: Granularity: One resource unit (subframe) of length 1 ms.

    Repetition of a transmission is supported

Modulation scheme
What is the baseband modulation scheme? If both data modulation and spreading modulation are required, describe in detail.

Describe the modulation scheme employed for data and control information.

What is the symbol rate after modulation?

–        Downlink:

●      For both data and higher-layer control information: QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM and 256QAM (see [T3.9038.211] sub-clause

●      L1/L2 control: QPSK (see [T3.9038.211] sub-clause

●      Symbol rate: 1344ksymbols/s per 1440kHz resource block (equivalently 168ksymbols/s per 180kHz resource block)

–        Uplink:

●      For both data and higher-layer control information: π/2-BPSK with spectrum shaping, QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM and 256QAM (see [T3.9038.211] sub-clause

●      L1/L2 control: BPSK, π/2-BPSK with spectrum shaping, QPSK (see [T3.9038.211] sub-clause 6.3.2).

●      Symbol rate: 1344ksymbols/s per 1440kHz resource block (equivalently 168ksymbols/s per 180kHz resource block)

The above is at least applied to eMBB. 

For NB-IoT, the modulation scheme is as follows.

·    Data and higher-layer control: π/2-BPSK (uplink only), π/4-QPSK (uplink only), QPSK

·    L1/L2 control: π/2-BPSK (uplink), QPSK (uplink), QPSK (downlink)

Symbol rate: 168 ksymbols/s per 180 kHz resource block. For UL, less than one resource block may be allocated.


What is the RF peak to average power ratio after baseband filtering (dB)? Describe the PAPR (peak-to-average power ratio) reduction algorithms if they are used in the proposed RIT/SRIT.

The PAPR depends on the waveform and the number of component carriers. The single component carrier transmission is assumed herein when providing the PAPR. For DFT-spread OFDM, PAPR would depend on modulation scheme as well. 

For uplink using DFT-spread OFDM, the cubic metric (CM) can also be used as one of the methods of predicting the power de-rating from signal modulation characteristics, if needed. 

–        Downlink:

The PAPR is 8.4dB (99.9%)

–        Uplink:

●      For CP-OFDM:

The PAPR is 8.4dB (99.9%)

●      For DFT-spread OFDM:

The PAPR is provided in the table below.

Modulation π/2 BPSK with Spectrum shaping using 1+D filter QPSK 16QAM 64QAM 256QAM
PAPR (99.9%) 1.75 dB 5.8 dB 6.5 dB 6.6 dB 6.7 dB


0.3 dB 1.2 dB 2.1 dB 2.3 dB 2.4 dB


 Any PAPR-reduction algorithm is transmitter-implementation specific for uplink and downlink. 

For NB-IoT,                       

–        Downlink:

The PAPR is 8.0dB (99.9%) on 180kHz resource.

–        Uplink:  

The PAPR is 0.23 – 5.6 dB (99.9 %) depending on sub-carriers allocated for available NB-IoT UL modulation. 

Error control coding scheme and interleaving
Provide details of error control coding scheme for both downlink and uplink.

For example,

–   FEC or other schemes?

The proponents can provide additional information on the decoding schemes.

–        Downlink and Uplink:

●      For data: Rate 1/3 or 1/5 Low density parity check (LDPC) coding, combined with rate matching based on puncturing/repetition to achieve a desired overall code rate (For more details, see [T3.9038.212] sub-clauses 5.3.2). LDPC channel coder facilitates low-latency and high-throughput decoder implementations.

●      For L1/L2 control: For DCI (Downlink Control Information)/UCI (Uplink Control Information) size larger than 11 bits, Polar coding, combined with rate matching based on puncturing/repetition to achieve a desired overall code rate (For more details, see [T3.9038.212] sub-clauses 5.3.1). Otherwise, repetition for 1-bit; simplex coding for 2-bit; reedmuller coding for 3~11-bit DCI/UCI size.

The above scheme is at least applied to eMBB.

Decoding mechanism is receiver-implementation specific

 For NB-IoT, the coding scheme is as follows:

·       For data: Rate 1/3 Turbo coding in UL, and rate-1/3 tail-biting convolutional coding in DL, each combined with rate matching based on puncturing/repetition to achieve a desired overall code rate; one transport block can be mapped to one or multiple resource units (for more details, see [T3.9036.212] sub-clause 6.2)

·       For L1/L2 control: For L1/L2 control: Rate-1/3 tail-biting convolutional coding. Special block codes for some L1/L2 control signaling (For more details, see [T3.9036.212] sub-clauses 

Describe the bit interleaving scheme for both uplink and downlink.

–        Downlink:

●      For data: bit interleaver is performed for LDPC coding after rate-matching (For more details, see [T3.9038.212] sub-clauses

●      For L1/L2 control: Bit interleaving is performed as part of the encoding process for Polar coding (For more details, see [T3.9038.212] sub-clauses

–        Uplink:

●      For data: bit interleaver is performed for LDPC coding after rate-matching (For more details, see [T3.9038.212] sub-clauses

●      For L1/L2 control: Bit interleaving is performed for Polar coding after rate-matching (For more details, see [T3.9038.212] sub-clauses

The above scheme is at least applied to eMBB.



For Control (Format 2) : Bit interleaver is not applied

For Data (Format1): Bit interleaver is performed after rate matching only for multitone transmissions (3,6,12). For single tone transmissions it is not applicable.    


Bit interleaver is not applied


Describe channel tracking capabilities (e.g. channel tracking algorithm, pilot symbol configuration, etc.) to accommodate rapidly changing delay spread profile.

To support channel tracking, different types of reference signals can be transmitted on downlink and uplink respectively.

–        Downlink:

●        Primary and Secondary Synchronization signals (PSS and SSS) are transmitted periodically to the cell. The periodicity of these signals is network configurable. UEs can detect and maintain the cell timing based on these signals. If the gNB implements hybrid beamforming, then the PSS and SSS are transmitted separately to each analogue beam. Network can configure multiple PSS and SSS in frequency domain.

●        UE-specific Demodulation RS (DM-RS) for PDCCH can be used for downlink channel estimation for coherent demodulation of PDCCH (Physical Downlink Control Channel). DM-RS for PDCCH is transmitted together with the PDCCH.

●       UE-specific Demodulation RS (DM-RS) for PDSCH can be used for downlink channel estimation for coherent demodulation of PDSCH (Physical Downlink Shared Channel). DM-RS for PDSCH is transmitted together with the PDSCH.

●       UE-specific Phase Tracking RS (PT-RS) can be used in addition to the DM-RS for PDSCH for correcting common phase error between PDSCH symbols not containing DM-RS. It may also be used for Doppler and time varying channel tracking. PT-RS for PDSCH is transmitted together with the PDSCH upon need.

●       UE-specific Channel State Information RS (CSI-RS) can be used for estimation of channel-state information (CSI) to further prepare feedback reporting to gNB to assist in MCS selection, beamforming, MIMO rank selection and resource allocation. CSI-RS transmissions are transmitted periodically, aperiodically, and semi-persistently on a configurable rate by the gNB. CSI-RS also can be used for interference measurement and fine frequency/time tracking purposes.

–        Uplink:

●        UE-specific Demodulation RS (DM-RS) for PUCCH can be used for uplink channel estimation for coherent demodulation of PUCCH (Physical Uplink Control Channel). DM-RS for PUCCH is transmitted together with the PUCCH.

●        UE-specific Demodulation RS (DM-RS) for PUSCH can be used for uplink channel estimation for coherent demodulation of PUSCH (Physical Uplink Shared Channel). DM-RS for PUSCH is transmitted together with the PUSCH.

●        UE-specific Phase Tracking RS (PT-RS) can be used in addition to the DM-RS for PUSCH for correcting common phase error between PUSCH symbols not containing DM-RS. It may also be used for Doppler and time varying channel tracking. DM-RS for PUSCH is transmitted together with the PUSCH upon need.

●        UE-specific Sounding RS (SRS) can be used for estimation of uplink channel-state information to assist uplink scheduling, uplink power control, as well as assist the downlink transmission (e.g. the downlink beamforming in the scenario with UL/DL reciprocity). SRS transmissions are transmitted periodically aperiodically, and semi-persistently by the UE on a gNB configurable rate.

Details of channel-tracking/estimation algorithms are receiver-implementation specific, and not part of the specification.

Details of channel-tracking/estimation algorithms are receiver-implementation specific, e.g. MMSE-based channel estimation with appropriate interpolation in time and frequency domain could be used.


 NB-IoT is based on following signals transmitted in the downlink: the primary and secondary narrowband synchronization signals. The narrowband primary synchronization sequence is transmitted over 11 sub-carriers from the first subcarrier to the eleventh subcarrier in the sixth subframe of each frame, and the narrowband secondary synchronization sequence is transmitted over 12 sub-carriers in the NB-IoT carrier in the tenth subframe of every other frame.

 ●       Demodulation RS (DM-RS) for NPUSCH format 1&2 (used for Data and control respectively) can be used for uplink channel estimation for coherent demodulation of NPUSCH F1 & F2 (Narrowband Physical Uplink Shared Channel Format 1 and 2). DM-RS for NPUSCH F1& F2 is transmitted together with the NPUSCH F1 & F2. They are not UE specific, as they do not depend on RNTI. The reference sequence generation is different for single tone and multi tone. For more details refer to [T3.9036.211]

 For single-tone NPUSCH with UL-SCH demodulation, uplink demodulation reference signals are transmitted in the 4- th block of the slot for 15 kHz subcarrier spacing, and in the 5-th block of the slot for 3.75 kHz subcarrier spacing. For multi-tone NPUSCH with UL-SCH demodulation, uplink demodulation reference signals are transmitted in the 4-th block of the slot. The uplink demodulation reference signals sequence length is 16 for single-tone NPUSCH with ULSCH transmission, and equals the size (number of sub-carriers) of the assigned resource for multi-tone transmission. For single-tone NPUSCH with UL-SCH transmission, multiple narrow band reference signals can be created: – Based on different base sequences; – A common Gold sequence. For multi-tone NPUSCH with UL-SCH transmission, multiple narrow band reference signals are created: – Based on different base sequences; – Different cyclic shifts of the same sequence. For NPUSCH with ACK/NAK demodulation, uplink demodulation reference signals are transmitted in the 3-rd, 4-th and 5-th block of the slot for 15 kHz subcarrier spacing, and in the 1-st, 2-nd and 3-rd block of the slot for 3.75 kHz subcarrier spacing. Multiple narrow band reference signals can be created: – Based on different base sequences; – A common Gold sequence; – Different orthogonal sequences (OCC). 

Physical channel structure and multiplexing
What is the physical channel bit rate (M or Gbit/s) for supported bandwidths?

i.e., the product of the modulation symbol rate (in symbols per second), bits per modulation symbol, and the number of streams supported by the antenna system.

The physical channel bit rate depends on the modulation scheme, number of spatial-multiplexing layer, number of resource blocks in the channel bandwidth and the subcarrier spacing used. The physical channel bit rate per layer can be expressed as

Rlayer = Nmod x NRB x 2µ x 168 kbps


–     Nmod is the number of bits per modulation symbol for the applied modulation scheme (QPSK: 2, 16QAM: 4, 64QAM: 6, 256QAM: 8)

–     NRB is the number of resource blocks in the aggregated frequency domain which depends on the channel bandwidth.

–    µ depends on the subcarrier spacing, , given by

For example, a 400 MHz carrier with 264 resource blocks using 120 kHz subcarrier spacing, , and 256QAM modulation results in a physical channel bit rate of 2.8 Gbit/s per layer.


The physical channel bit rate depends on the modulation scheme, number of tones used in the channel bandwidth in the resource block and the subcarrier spacing used. The physical channel bit rate per user can be expressed as :


NPUSCH Format 1

R =  Nmod x Ntone  x 12 kbps for carrier spacing of 15kHz


–     Nmod is the number of bits per modulation symbol for the applied modulation scheme (QPSK: 2, BPSK:1)

–     Ntone  is the number of tones . This can be 1,3,6,12

R =  Nmod x 3 kbps for carrier spacing of 3.75kHz


R =  Nmod x 12  x 12 kbps 

Layer 1 and Layer 2 overhead estimation.

Describe how the RIT/SRIT accounts for all layer 1 (PHY) and layer 2 (MAC) overhead and provide an accurate estimate that includes static and dynamic overheads.

–        Downlink

The downlink L1/L2 overhead includes:

1.       Different types of reference signals

a.       Demodulation reference signals for PDSCH (DMRS-PDSCH)

b.       Phase-tracking reference signals for PDSCH (PTRS-PDSCH)

c.        Demodulation reference signals for PDCCH

d.       Reference signals specifically targeting estimation of channel-state information (CSI-RS)

e.        Tracking reference signals (TRS)

2.       L1/L2 control signalling transmitted on the up to three first OFDM symbols of each slot

3.       Synchronization signals and physical broadcast control channel including demodulation reference signals included in the SS/PBCH block

4.       PDU headers in L2 sub-layers (MAC/RLC/PDCP)

The overhead due to different type of reference signals is given in the table below. Note that demodulation reference signals for PDCCH is included in the PDCCH overhead.

Reference signal type Example configurations Overhead for example configurations
DMRS-PDSCH As examples, DMRS can occupy 1/3, ½, or one full OFDM symbol. 1, 2, 3 or 4 symbols per slot can be configured to carry DMRS. 2.4 % to 29 %
PTRS- PDSCH 1 resource elements in frequency domain every second or fourth resource block. PTRS is mainly intended for FR2. 0.2% or 0.5 % when configured.
CSI-RS 1 resource element per resource block per antenna port per CSI-RS periodicity 0.25 % for 8 antenna ports transmitted every 20 ms with 15 kHz subcarrier spacing
TRS 2 slots with 1/2 symbol in each slot per transmission period 0.36 % or 0.18% respectively for 20 ms and 40ms periodicity

The overhead due to the L1/L2 control signalling is depending on the size and periodicity of the configured CORESET in the cell and includes the overhead from the PDCCH demodulation reference signals. If the CORESET is transmitted in every slot, maximum control channel overhead is 21% assuming three symbols and whole carrier bandwidth used for CORESET, while a more typical overhead is 7% when 1/3 of the time and frequency resources in the first three symbols of a slot is allocated to PDCCH.

The overhead due to the SS/PBCH block is given by the number of SS/PBCH blocks transmitted within the SS/PBCH block period, the SS/PBCH block periodicity and the subcarrier spacing. Assuming a 100 resource block wide carrier, the overhead for 20 ms periodicity is in the range of 0.6 % to 2.3 % if the maximum number of SS/PBCH blocks are transmitted.

–        Uplink

L1/L2 overhead includes:

1.       Different types of reference signals

a.       Demodulation reference signal for PUSCH

b.       Demodulation reference signal for PUCCH

c.        Phase-tracking reference signals

a.       Sounding reference signal (SRS) used for uplink channel-state estimation at the network side

2.       L1/L2 control signalling transmitted on a configurable amount of resources (see also Item

3.       L2 control overhead due to e.g., random access, uplink time-alignment control, power headroom reports and buffer-status reports

4.       PDU headers in L2 layers (MAC/RLC/PDCP)

The overhead due to due to demodulation reference signal for PUSCH is the same as the overhead for demodulation reference signal for PDSCH, i.e.  4 % to 29 % depending on number of symbols configured. Also, the phase-tracking reference signal overhead is the same in UL as in DL.

The overhead due to periodic SRS is depending on the number of symbols configured subcarrier spacing and periodicity. For 20 ms periodicity, the overhead is in the range of 0.4% to 1.4% assuming15 kHz subcarrier spacing.

Amount of uplink resources reserved for random access depends on the configuration.

The relative overhead due to uplink time-alignment control depends on the configuration and the number of active UEs within a cell.

The amount of overhead for buffer status reports depends on the configuration.

The amount of overhead caused by 4 highly depends on the data packet size.


For NB-IoT, the overhead from Narrowband RS (NRS) is dependent on the number of cell-specific antenna ports N (1 or 2) and equals 8 x N / 168 %.

The overhead from NB-IoT downlink control signaling is dependent on the amount of data to be transmitted. For small infrequent data transmissions, the downlink transmissions are dominated by the L2 signaling during the connection setup. The overhead from L1 signaling is dependent on the configured scheduling cycle.

The overhead due to Narrowband synchronization signal and Narrowband system information broadcast messages is only applicable to the NB-IoT anchor carrier. The actual overhead depends on the broadcasted system information messages and their periodicity. The overhead can be estimated to be around 26.25%.


For NB-IoT UL, data and control are sharing the same resources and the overhead from L1/L2 control signaling depend on the scheduled traffic in the DL. The UL control signaling is dominated by RLC and HARQ positive or negative acknowledgments. A typical NB-IoT NPRACH overhead is in the order of 5 %.

Variable bit rate capabilities:

Describe how the proposal supports different applications and services with various bit rate requirements.

For a given combination of modulation scheme, code rate, and number of spatial-multiplexing layers, the data rate available to a user can be controlled by the scheduler by assigning different number of resource blocks for the transmission. In case of multiple services, the available/assigned resource, and thus the available data rate, is shared between the services.

Variable payload capabilities:

Describe how the RIT/SRIT supports IP-based application layer protocols/services (e.g., VoIP, video-streaming, interactive gaming, etc.) with variable-size payloads.

See also


The transport-block size can vary between X bits and Y bits. The number of bits per transport block can be set with a fine granularity.

See [T3.9038.214] sub-clause for details.


For NB-IoT, the maximum transport block size is 680 bits in the DL and 1000 bits in UL for the lowest UE category and 2536 bits for both DL and UL for the highest UE category.

See [T3.9036.213] sub-clause for details.

Signalling transmission scheme:

Describe how transmission schemes are different for signalling/control from that of user data.

–        Downlink

L1/L2 control signalling is transmitted in assigned resources time and frequency multiplexed with data within the bandwidth part (BWP, see item Control signalling is limited to QPSK modulation (QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM and 256QAM for data). Control signalling error correcting codes are polar codes (LDPC codes for data).

–        Uplink                  

L1/L2 control signalling transmitted in assigned resources and can be time and frequency multiplexed with data within the BWP. L1/L2 control signalling can also be multiplexed with data on the PUSCH. Modulation schemes for L1/L2 control signalling is π/2-BPSK, BPSK and QPSK. Control signalling error correcting codes are block codes for small payload and polar codes for larger payloads (LDPC codes for data).



For both downlink and uplink, higher-layer signalling (e.g. MAC, RLC, PDCP headers and RRC signalling) is carried within transport blocks and thus transmitted using the same physical-layer transmitter processing as user data.


For NB-IoT the L1/L2 control signaling is confined to a configured set of resource blocks and can be time multiplexed with data and are transmitted in scheduled subframes

Small signalling overhead

Signalling overhead refers to the radio resource that is required by the signalling divided by the total radio resource which is used to complete a transmission of a packet. The signalling includes necessary messages exchanged in DL and UL directions during a signalling mechanism, and Layer 2 protocol header for the data packet.

Describe how the RIT/SRIT supports efficient mechanism to provide small signalling overhead in case of small packet transmissions.

There are multiple control channel formats that have included, and provide various levels of overhead. There is an overhead versus scheduling flexibility trade-off that can be used by the scheduler to reduce the signalling overhead.


NB-IOT: In case of small data packet transmission, the L1/L2 control signalling during the connection setup procedure is dominating the uplink and downlink transmissions. To minimize this overhead NB-IoT, allows a UE to resume of an earlier connection. As an alternative, the data can be transmitted over the control plane, which eliminates the need to setup the data plane connection.


1.    TSDSI’s RIT is one of five proposals for the IMT 2020 RIT/SRIT.

The other four are from: 3GPP,  South Korea, China, and ETSI/DECT Forum.  All but the latter are based on 3GPP “5G NR.”

  • The Candidate RIT/SRIT submission from China, as acknowledged in IMT-2020/5, is technically identical to the 5G NR RIT submitted from 3GPP as acknowledged in IMT-2020/3.
  • The candidate RIT/SRIT submission from South Korea, as acknowledged in IMT-2020/4, is technically identical to the 5G NR RIT submitted from 3GPP as acknowledged in IMT-2020/3.


2.   3GPP release 16:

As we have stated numerous times, 3GPP’s final IMT 2020 RIT/SRIT submission to ITU-R  WP 5D will be largely based on 3GPP release 16 (with perhaps some elements of release 15 also included).  From the 3GPP website 

Release 16 will meet the ITU IMT-2020 submission requirements and the time-plan as outlined in RP-172101.

Some Background on 3GPP Release 16:

Here is the active status of 3GPP release 16 project.

The 3GPP release 16 completion date has been delayed by at least 3 months (1Q 2020) with no new completion date specified at this time.

3. DECT Forum/ETSI submission for IMT 2020 SRIT:

From a July 1, 2019 contribution to ITU-R WP5D Brazil meeting:

DECT Forum would like to announce its support and endorsement for the IMT-2020 contribution from ETSI for an SRIT candidate for inclusion in IMT-2020.   The proposed SRIT consists of two component RITs:

DECT Forum confirms its continuation as a proponent of this IMT-2020 proposal.



India delays 5G trials; Advocates “the Indian Way” within ITU-R WP 5D for IMT 2020

ATIS endorses 3GPP IMT 2020 RIT submission to ITU-R WP 5D; sees no need for separate LMLC India national option

3GPP Workshop: IMT 2020 Submission to ITU-R WP5D and Timelines for 5G Standards Completion

TSDSI and the 5G IA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to foster collaboration on Research, Standards, Regulations and Policies

ITU-R Proposal: Report on IMT-2020 for remote sparsely populated areas providing high data rate coverage


India’s 5G may lag due to low telecom infrastructure growth rate and insufficient fiber for backhaul

by Muntazir Abbas (edited by Alan J Weissberger) from Economic Times:

India’s 5G ambition may be thwarted as mobile infrastructure expansion is likely to remain low-paced following policy bottlenecks in the federal governance structure.  Add to that India’s weak fiberization, which is mandatory for high-speed wireless network backhaul.

The country’s existing telecom infrastructure catering to a billion active subscribers may require rapid expansion, but the absence of clarity on active network sharing, distributed right-of-way norms and thin fibre penetration, may not bring 2020 a true 5G year.

The Narendra Modi-led government is eyeing to make 5G services commercially available by next year after soon-to-start field trials which would be followed by a mega spectrum sale with 275 Mhz of airwaves earmarked for the newer technology.

Plagued with high debt, the telco incumbents  Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, have not made much network investments over the past few years.  In a constrained scenario, sharing of active and passive networks assume much significance.

The Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (Taipa) Director General Tilak Raj Dua says, “In order to make 5G a success story in India, it is essential to invest on network densification heavily through provisioning of fiber, small cells and mobile towers.”  Taipa represents telecom infrastructure companies in the country.

The India Department of Telecommunications (DoT), over the past few years, has apparently not been able to bring telecom tower companies to mainstream despite their ever-growing role in India’s digital service delivery.

The much-sought ‘infrastructure status’ accorded to the sector in 2012, has not materialised so far with firms seeking the Narendra Modi government to bring about radical reforms before the 5G make a debut.

Fiberization— A must do

Fibre-based backhaul is still in infancy in India. Industry’s assessment suggests that India’s robust 5G network would require 100 million fibre kilometres (m fkm) optic-fibre cable a year which has been growing at merely a rate of nearly 25 mfkm a year currently.

The government has recognized it as the strategic element for a high-speed data network, and has put a huge thrust and aims to increase fibre footprint to five fold or 7.5 million kilometres by 2022, from the current 1.5 million kilometers. In addition, the national policy aims to fiberise at least 60% of telecom towers by 2022, eventually accelerating migration to 5G.

“Achieving such speeds make fiber connectivity essential. India’s high population density also translates into deeper and denser fiber network,” ratings agency ICRA in its finding said, adding that the country has about 500,000 towers of which only 22% are fiberised as against 80% in China.

Earlier, telecom secretary Aruna Sundararajan said that that the department would want to benchmark how much fibre is being deployed every day to achieve 4G and 5G, and it has to become a national priority, and added that if the industry ever wants to take 5G to the villages without fibre, it would not happen, as fiberisation remains a key driver.

State-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) that has the largest fibre base of up to 8 lakh kilometres is considering to lease out dark fibre to private players in a run up to 5G rollout that according to analysts would help operators cut Capex by leveraging state telco’s infrastructure as per need basis.

ICRA estimates the present market value of fiber assets owned by major private telecom operators stand at nearly Rs 1.25 lakh crore, with the extent of fiber rollout over the next few years would require investments of Rs 2.5 lakh crore to 3 lakh crore and sharing of fiber among multiple telcos would be the driver for a reasonable return on capital.

“5G rollout is the biggest driver for all major investment into fibre infrastructure in next five years. The next generation of technology’s performance will be dependent on the overflow of content to and from data centres,” Sandeep Aggarwal, Managing Director of Paramount Communications said, and added that the only medium capable of meeting these demands is fiber which will need to be available at every nook and corner of the country.

The government, in a recently-unveiled national policy also talked about setting up of a National Fibre Authority (NFA), but ironically there has been a dismal activity so far to take the ambitious vision forward.

The challenges, from the fibre standpoint, however, continue to remain making the 5G ride not so smooth with fibre companies together with telecom carriers seeking the Narendra Modi-led government to accelerate efforts and carve out an incentive regime.

Reliance Jio, a pure-play 4G operator that has up its ante in fibre deployment for the ambitious fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) offering dubbed as JioGigaFiber said that that to incentivise telcos, the department should draw out incentives so that operators are not challenged to deliver on fiber which is a critical element for India’s digital growth.

Earlier, Mumbai-based Jio chief Mathew Oommen said that, “service providers should use incentives for creating a deeper fiber with the redundancy of routes,” and believes that incentives should be in the form of “conducive policy to attract more investments in building fibre infrastructure” by telcos.

“5G is an interesting initiative. There is still a lag in fiber deployments in remote locations. We have learnt how to roll out fiber throughout the country, and modern technologies aligned to 5G is also one of the important factors,” R&M chairman Hans Hess told ETT.

“5G needs fiber highways and tower fiberisation is essential to be accelerated and the establishment of National Fiber Authority similar to the National Highway Authority or NHAI. These aim towards a significant portion to be invested in fibre roll out,” Sterlite Technologies Limited (STL) Group CEO Anand Agarwal told ETT.

Company’s top executive said that the national policy has accorded fibre the status of a public utility, and since fibre is essential for both wireline and wireless networks, a greater level of confidence in fibre investment was much needed.

R&M’s Hess seconded Agarwal’s views, adding that a robust fibre-based backbone would be a vital element for a network of next generation of networks.

“There would be an increase in consumption of data due to the Internet of Things (IoT) proliferation. In order to produce more data faster, a strong backbone is needed that can be built on fiber,” the Swiss company’s executive added.

“5G technology will also require a multi-fold increase in small cells deployment, with each small cell having backhaul on fibre. We are woefully inadequate in terms of optic-fibre cable density both in urban and rural areas and a special focus for its densification in a time bound manner is essential for 5G deployments,” Agarwal added.

India’s fiber coverage in kilometre per capita works out to 0.09, which is far behind 0.87 for China and more than 1.3 for the United States and Japan, according to ICRA.

The Gurugram-based firm believes that fiber density in India would have to increase at least four-fold, and that would also mean that it would evolve as a separate industry in some time, similar to the telecom tower segment in the past two decades.

Active network sharing— Do it now

The 5G, based on low latency technology, requires a dense network to seamlessly deliver Internet connectivity enabled through a telecom infrastructure such as in-building solutions, small cells, fiber and fiberised mobile towers.

In a view to ease out financially-stressed operators, the government, in the policy has envisaged active network sharing that would allow telcos to share their networks and thereby reducing their capital (Capex) as well as operational (Opex) investment. Currently, the contours of the new regime are under a discussion stage together with the department and industry, and is expected to bring much respite to 5G rollouts.

The national policy, however, talks about encouraging sharing of active infrastructure by enhancing the scope of Infrastructure Providers (IP) and promoting deployment with incentives for common sharable, passive as well as active infrastructure.

“This (active network sharing) should be done in a more structured manner. All telecom service providers should make active sharing as freely as possible that could also help them reduce Capex as well as Opex in a scenario where margins are thin,” BSNL Chairman Anupam Shrivastava said.

Shrivastava further said that it would be going to help all service providers, and added that BSNL was offering its network for sharing and the same was expected from other operators.

Sector watchdog Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), in one of its whitepaper estimates the savings on account of active infrastructure sharing to the extent of 25-35% in Opex and 33-35% in Capex.

Network sharing, according to industry analysts, can significantly bring down 5G networks rollout as well as maintenance cost. New York-based McKinsey & Company in its finding has estimated the cost reduction of up to 40% — with major savings in rollout of small cells.

Current telecom infrastructure growth rate may play spoilsport to India’s 5G party5G network, according to Taipa’s director general Dua, will enable a new set of applications such as the connected devices and cars which could become a reality only if the coverage becomes ubiquitous.

In order to have a pervasive 5G and for contiguous operations, there would have to be mushrooming of small cells over a city. Infrastructure providers can play a vital role in faster deployment of small cells that comes with a huge investment and thus support telcos to save on Capex and Opex,” he added.

Telecom carriers with 5G ambitions would be able to leverage 4G unified license (UL) coverage through dual connectivity or UL-sharing and would be able to cover larger areas with the same number of sites. 5G coverage compared to 4G coverage using 1800 MHz (megahertz) spectrum band would be about 60%.

A greenfield 5G operator, according to Taipa estimates, would need to deploy about 66% more sites to compensate for penetration losses.

Right-of-way— Not so right

The industry, demanding ease in Right-of-Way (RoW) rules, has been under continuous discussions with the regulator as well as policymakers for shaping up a comprehensive ‘dig-once’ common duct policy framework that according to the industry would help in the proliferation of 5G infrastructure across the country.

The next generation technologies are shaping the world economies and the smart cities would be built on a fibre-centric network for enabling ubiquitous and seamless connectivity. Trai is expected to come out with a policy enabling ‘common duct’ that would take telecom infrastructure to a next-level of growth.

In the last two years, post industry’s continuous rigorous follow-ups, only 13 states have to some extent aligned their policies with the Centre’s RoW rules notified in November 2016, according to Taipa.

“There is an urgent need for the states to align their telecom infrastructure policies with the Indian Telegraph Right of Way Rules to facilitate deployment of mobile infrastructure and connect the unconnected,” Dua added.

Deployment of small cells is significant for a proliferation 5G in India, the network rollout would have to be facilitated through enabling policies, which, according to the group, should include mandatory provisions for small cells at government lands and premises with new business models to excite municipal corporations and state governments.

The infrastructure providers such as Bharti Infratel, ATC Corporation and GTL Infrastructure demand a uniform RoW charges and single-window clearances nationwide to facilitate the telecom infrastructure for the digital delivery of services as envisaged by the Centre.



Tech Mahindra: India Needs to Begin 5G Spectrum Auction Now!

Manish Vyas, President of Communications Business and Chief Executive Officer of Network Services, of Tech Mahindra said the India Department of Telecom needs to commence the auction of 5G spectrum now.  He noted that regulators in some countries have already formulated policies and initiated spectrum auctions for the 5G roll out in their respective nations.

Vyas said 4G is yet to touch all parts of India and that needs to happens on a massive scale.  Yet there are some “definite green-shoots” of 5G trials.

More than technology, the bigger impediment could be the India regulatory body’s policy on 5G spectrum. The experimental license by DoT will need modifications, and till that happens, the sector is in for a “waiting game” he said.

“US, Australia, Italy, Switzerland, Saudi Arabia and more (have started 5G spectrum auctions). Spectrum is the life blood of any wireless network. For 5G, globally regulators have been licensing mid-band (3.5GHz) and in some countries mmWave (millimeter Wave) spectrum bands as well.

For 5G to be rolled out in India, the first necessary step is for the regulator to auction the 5G spectrum. Everything else will be gated on spectrum,” he wrote in an email to the Economic Times of India.

Vodafone Idea recently said the auction of 5G spectrum should not be held before 2020 as the industry needs time to develop India-specific use cases for the next-generation technology.

A DoT official in December last year said the government expects to complete processes for 5G spectrum auction by August, 2019.

See the source image


Tech Mahindra established a strategic partnership with Intel on a wide range of topics spanning across Virtualization of RAN (radio access network) , Cloud native 5G Core and on Edge Computing, Vyas said.

“Intel brings best in class technology for 5G infrastructure and will form the foundation of 5G networks.

We are collaborating with Intel to maximise the benefits of their technology for 5G networks and we are also working on developing 5G use cases for specific industry verticals in the CoE,” he said.

The IT systems integrator is working with many telcos across North America, UK, Germany, Asia-pacific Australia New Zealand and North Asia regions on 5G launch and digitalisation programs, he explained.
Read more at:
UPDATE: India DoT panel on scope of 5G trials, experimental spectrum submits report

A panel set up to recommend the scope of 5G trials in the country has submitted its report to the Department of Telecom (DoT), a source said.

The DoT-constituted committee chaired by IIT Kanpur Director Abhay Karandikar was tasked to give recommendations on the scope of trials, as well as size, quantum, pricing and other aspects for offering experimental/trial spectrum for 5G and other trials.

A DoT source privy to the development said that the report was submitted recently and is currently being examined, but did not divulge details.

Some industry representatives had earlier informed the committee, during the past deliberations, that the various stages involved in the process of experimentation and trials such as import and release of equipment, logistic clearance, installation and commission of equipment, network integration, interoperability checking, and testing of applications require longer duration and that the existing validity of three months is very short and needs to be increased.

The National Digital Communications Policy 2018 outlines a mission to ‘propel India’ by enabling next generation technologies and services through investments, innovation and IPR generation.

In this regard, it underlines the need to harness the power of emerging digital technologies, including 5G, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Cloud and Big Data to enable provision of future-ready products and services.

Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Jio wants to connect next billion in India

Infrastructure and affordability barriers are being broken in India by Reliance Industries Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani and his initiatives, a new survey said on Friday.  According to the survey by Booking Holdings, a growing affluence has lifted over a billion people out of poverty, creating a new middle class — in many countries for the first time — and driving a growth in consumer demand.  Asked which factors were driving, or were likely to drive, increased internet adoption, the respondents highlighted pull factors like the increased availability of high-quality infrastructure, improved affordability and better public understanding of the internet as factors that would drive increased uptake.

Asked which factors were driving, or were likely to drive, increased internet adoption, the respondents highlighted pull factors like the increased availability of high-quality infrastructure, improved affordability and better public understanding of the internet as factors that would drive increased uptake.

“This ties in neatly with the infrastructure — as opposed to the human — barriers, the removal of which our respondents identified as being key to unleashing the potential of the Next Billion.

“With projects such as the $35 billion investment in 4G by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani, these barriers are quickly coming down in India,” the report emphasised.

As on March 31, the subscriber base of Reliance Jio stood at 306.7 million. The average data consumption per user per month was 10.9 GB and average voice consumption 823 minutes per user per month.

“We at Jio are truly overwhelmed and proud to now serve over 300 million subscribers. The growth in data and voice traffic at this scale has been unparalleled,” Mukesh Ambani said.

Mukesh Ambani breaking all barriers to connect next billion

The average Jio customer data consumption per user per month was 10.9 GB and average voice consumption 823 minutes per user per month.


For the survey, Booking Holdings surveyed tech experts and tech leaders in three markets — China, India and Indonesia.  Nearly 74 per cent respondents in India said internet access is a basic necessity.

One of the most heartening and economically significant impacts of the expansion of connectivity in Asia was the corresponding improvement in the lives of women and girls.

Nearly 79 per cent of respondents said gender was not a barrier to internet adoption in their country.

“Nearly 86 per cent said that increased gender equality would drive adoption and 91 per cent said greater digital participation would also improve gender equality in their country,” the findings showed.

By large majorities, the respondents expected their countrymen and women to benefit from digital inclusion in ways that would help them become more educated and more prosperous — allowing the connected to rise up the social ladder.

“This aspirational edge to gathering digital transformation of all three countries reveals a growing individualistic and entrepreneurial culture that would not be out of place in Silicon Valley,” the survey noted.

According to Glenn Fogel, CEO, Booking Holdings, much of this explosion of commerce and entrepreneurship is due to the growing availability and ease of internet connectivity in Asia.

“In India, the e-commerce market is expected to quadruple in size between 2017 and 2022 to a value of $150 billion… Asians are going online to sell and to shop,” he said.


Indian telcos propose year-long 5G field trials which begin this June!

India’s major mobile operators have both submitted proposals to conduct year-long field trials of 5G services.  Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio Infocomm – along with technology partners including Cisco, Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia – have submitted detailed proposals to the Department of Telecom, the Economic Times reported.

The Indian mobile network operators are now awaiting approvals, and it is expected to take an additional initial three months to complete preparations and clearances, the Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) told the publication. COAI is the industry body that represents Vodafone Idea, Airtel and Jio.


Telcos, vendors seek government nod for a year-long spectrum for 5G field trials


But the Department of Telecom has previously expressed a reluctance to allocate airwaves for 5G trials beyond a 90 day window, which the industry believes would be way too short of a time to conduct the required trials.  The India government has not taken any decision yet on the duration, a contentious issue for airwaves allocation.

According to COAI, the industry is expected to finally reach an agreement with the DoT on the duration of the proposed allocations, as well as other issues.  The Telecommunications Regulator of India has recommended the 3.5-GHz frequency range be used for 5G, and aims to complete an initial 5G auction early next year.

The much-awaited network trial for 5G services in India is scheduled to start this June, with a Telecom Ministry panel recommending spectrum for the test run to the incumbent telcos for a three-month period.  The panel which deliberated on the quantum and duration of the spectrum trial has recommended 5G spectrum to Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio initially for three months, which can be scaled up to one year in case they need more time for network stabilisation.

The three equipment vendors who have got the green signal from the panel are Samsung, Nokia and Ericsson, sources said.

The allocation will take place in the next 15 days and telcos could start intial 5G run in June itself. The network trial licenses will be issued in a few days’ time.



Will Reliance Jio overtake Bharti Airtel today to become India’s 2nd largest telecom operator?

By: – Published: May 6, 2019. Edited for clarity by Alan J Weissberger, IEEE Techblog Content Manager

The race to become India’s second largest telecom operator between Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio is still on.  With Airtel’s Q4 results due on Monday, it will soon become clear if Mukesh Ambani’s Jio will actually climb the ladder and outshine Sunil Bharti Mittal’s company.

With 29 crore wireless subscribers towards the end of February 2019, Reliance Jio has emerged as a tough competitor to many telecom operators in India. Considering Jio’s growth trend in the previous few quarters, it may even leave behind Vodafone-Idea, dethroning it as the current largest telecom firm in India.

While other telecom operators have mostly maintained a ‘lose’ or ‘barely growing’ trend on the subscriber base, Reliance Jio has been the only telecom which maintained a ‘gain’ streak throughout the year 2018.  For the QE Sep-Dec 18, Reliance Jio was the only private telco (along with PSU BSNL) to gain subscribers while both small and large players, including Vodafone-Idea, registered mostly negative growth. Jio had added close to 3 crore subscribers in that quarter, according to TRAI’s Indian Telecom Services Performance Report. In the year 2018, Reliance Jio has continued to add more than 2.5 crore subscribers every quarter.

Reliance Jio’s own reported user base tells a similar story. In its Jan-Mar 2019 quarterly results details, Reliance Jio reported over 30 crore subscribers at the end of March. Bharti Airtel is due to report its March-end user base today, along with its quarterly results.

NOTE: Crore is an Indian term that =ten million; or = 100 lakhs, especially of rupees, units of measurement, or people.

Reliance Jio vs Airtel vs Vodafone Idea: Detailed descriptions of plans here. Check which is best for you

Reliance Jio vs Airtel vs Vodafone Idea: Who will emerge as India’s largest telecom operator?


As of February 2019:

  • Vodafone-Idea had over 40 crore users (wireline and wireless combined),
  • Bharti Airtel had over 34 crore users.
  • Reliance Jio was strong with a little less than 30 crore subscribers (TRAI figures). Vodafone-Idea leads in terms of market share for wireless subscribers with 34.58% share.
  • Bharti Airtel’s market share is 28.75%, while Reliance Jio is inching closer with 25.11%.

In terms of wireline market share, BSNL leads with more than half the subscription hold, followed by Bharti Airtel at 18.95%. For broadband services, Reliance Jio topples all other telecom operators with a 54% share in the market.


Update- May 21, 2019:  Jio adds 9.4 million customers in March, Airtel, Vodafone-Idea lose

: Reliance Jio has added 9.4 million customers while India’s teledensity has declined 1.82% to 90.11%, from 91.86% in March 2019 with active wireless subscribers reaching 1,021.75 million, the sector regulator in a finding Tuesday said.

Jio has added 9.4 million users in March to take its user base to 307.7 million, while Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel lost 14.5 million and 15.1 million customers, respectively, to take their subscriber bases to 394.8 million and 325.2 million during the same period, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) said.

Bharti Airtel had 27.99% subscriber market share, Vodafone Idea 33.98% and Jio had 26.40% market share as of March 2019.
Vodafone Idea’s active use base, or VLR, was 93.27% of its overall subscribers, while Reliance Jio was at 84.04%. The finding revealed that Bharti Airtel has the maximum proportion – of 100.82% – of active wireless subscribers in the month of March 2019.

In the broadband segment, Vodafone Idea had 19.57%, Bharti Airtel 20.35% and Reliance Jio had 54.45% market share as of March this year.

The monthly decline rates of urban and rural subscription stood at 0.90% and 2.98% respectively in March 2019, according to Trai.

The regulator added that in March, 5.30 million subscribers submitted their requests for Mobile Number Portability (MNP), and the cumulative porting requests have increased from 423.11 million in February to 428.40 million at the end of March 2019.




Reliance Jio may overtake Vodafone Idea & Airtel to become India’s largest telecom firm by 2018 year end


Reliance Jio Blankets India with Inexpensive 4G Service; Where are the Profits?


Samsung deploying small cells in large volumes for Reliance Jio in India


India delays 5G trials; Advocates “the Indian Way” within ITU-R WP 5D for IMT 2020

India Delays 5G Trials:

5G technology trials in India are now expected to begin by  the end of the current calendar year or early next year, according to a recently-constituted committee looking into the 5G field trial initiative.

5G trials may happen towards the end of this year or early next year. Early deployments may happen in the second or third quarter of 2020,” Abhay Karandikar, director, IIT Kanpur and chairman of the recently set up committee to look into SG spectrum for trials told ETT.

The much-anticipated 5G field trials have hit a policy roadblock with the department of telecom (DoT) wireless planning and coordination wing (WPC) averse to allocating airwaves beyond 90 days, which according to industry, would not serve any purpose.

March 29, 2919 Update from Prof AJ Paulraj:

“Government of India has confirmed that several statements in the article are incorrect. 5G trials are this year on and WPC has not created any hurdles.”

That implies the first reference cited (see below) is inaccurate.


Prof. Karandikar said that the industry needs to get trial spectrum for a reasonable duration or for at least one year with a minimum cost to telecom carriers for carrying out 5G trials.   “Current mechanisms of experimental license by DoT require modifications in terms of scope and duration for enabling telecom service providers and industry to undertake the 5G trial at the network level,” he said.

On February 25, the department has formed a committee headed by Karandikar with representation from the academia, industry and the government, to make recommendations related to licensing for carrying out 5G pilots, and also asked for the quantum, size, price and other aspects for offering experimental spectrum. The 5G India Forum will serve as a strategic national initiative which concerns all stakeholders, private and public, small and large, to meet the challenge of making 5G a reality in India, at timelines aligning with the rest of world.  5G India Forum is a collaborative body under the aegis of COAI.

Objective:  This 5G India forum aims to become the leading force in the development of next generation communications and will enable synergizing national efforts and will play a significant role in shaping the strategic, commercial and regulatory development of the 5G ecosystem in India.

Earlier in 2018, the Indian government has asked telecom service providers— Vodafone IdeaBharti Airtel and Reliance Jio— to partner with telecom gear makers such as Cisco, Samsung, Ericsson and Nokia, and showcase India-specific 5G use cases by early 2019.

The department has so far excluded Chinese telecom equipment firm ZTE from awarding intent letter to participate in trials. Shenzhen-based Huawei said it was still awaiting clarity from the government to conduct 5G trials and could deploy a 5G network within the three week’s time after the allocation of trial radiowaves.

Karandikar, one of the sector regulator’s advisers is also a member of the 5G high-level forum which under the noted scientist AJ Paulraj is working on to prepare a roadmap for 5G rollout in the country in tandem with some of the matured markets worldwide.  In September 2018, the forum submitted its recommendations to the government which has constituted several implementation-level committees or working groups to develop a wider 5G deployment strategy.




ITU-R WP5D split on the way forward for IMT 2020 specifications:

At the February 2019 ITU-R WP5D meeting 31bis, TSDSI (India’s telecom standards body) submitted updated information related to their proposal of candidate IMT-2020 radio interfaces.  The TDSI contribution was reviewed and the respective IMT-2020 documents were revised accordingly.

This meeting received and reviewed a number of input contributions on Process and use of the Global Core Specification (GCS), references, and related certifications in conjunction with Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT‑2020.SPECS].”  There continues to be two diverse philosophies on how to proceed with the document – one desiring to significantly alter the process to support specific national needs (e.g. India) in the transposition phase of the process and the other demonstrating how the same objective could be accomplished with the existing process remaining unaltered in its scope, steps, and procedures.

The two views are Indian Way Forward (provided by TSDSI) and Summary of a Proposed IMT-2020 VVV Way Forward (AT&T v3 2-14-19) (provided by AT&T).

The Indian Way courtesy of TSDSI:

  • India believes that, the process works well ONLY for countries with strong industry presence in 3GPP
  • Most developing countries have no way to influence the technology they consume
  • Much of the value transactions in standardization are abrogated to external bodies
  • That relegates most of the developing countries to be consumers

What the ITU-R IMT 2020 standardization process should enable:

  • India believes the process should enable developing countries to take 3GPP (or other GCS) as the base specification.
  • Then provide enhancements and innovations to the base specifications, depending on local use cases.
  • TDSI believes it is possible to preserve interoperability/international roaming, while allowing for these regional enhancements
  • That is not enabled by the current process

TSDSI Proposal for ITU-R IMT-2020 Standard:

  • Reference to Base Specification  – Version 1.
  • Delta-DIS Version 1. (for national options)


ATIS endorses 3GPP IMT 2020 RIT submission to ITU-R WP 5D; sees no need for separate LMLC India national option

TSDSI’s Initial Proposal on candidate RIT/SRIT for IMT 2020 Accepted






Communications Minister Manoj Sinha: India will not miss 5G opportunity; New Spectrum Bands Coming?

The economic impact of 5G is estimated to be over one trillion dollars for India, which is aggressively positioning itself to be at the forefront of the new age technologies, Communications Minister Manoj Sinha said on Tuesday.  Vowing that India will “not miss the 5G bus”, the minister outlined the country’s strides in telecom over the last five years, highlighting the spike in data consumption, broadband user base, and low tariffs, but added that ensuring safety and sovereignty of digital networks will be a priority for the government.

“While we are gearing up for the next wave of digital transformation, it is also important to ensure the safety, security and sovereignty of digital communications…It is important that we focus on security testing and establish appropriate security standards.  We have recently started a state-of-the-art facility for preparation of security assurance standards, putting us at the forefront of technology,” Sinha said.

India will not miss 5G opportunity; economic impact seen at over USD 1 trillion: Manoj Sinha

“The economic impact of 5G is expected to be over one trillion dollars for India, and the consequent multiplier effect is expected to be much more,” Sinha said.


The facility will work on security requirements and also facilitate development of testing and certification ecosystem in the country, Sinha said while speaking at India Telecom 2019 expo organised by Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council (TEPC). Terming 5G as a “game changer”, the minister said that flagship government programs like Digital India and smart cities will ride on 5G.  “The economic impact of 5G is expected to be over one trillion dollars for India, and the consequent multiplier effect is expected to be much more,” Sinha said.

The minister underscored the need for promoting investments to build underlying infrastructure that would make 5G a success, and added that a working group has been constituted to initiate implementation of recommendations of high level forum on 5G that had submitted its report in August 2018.  Sinha also said that the government is in favour of policies and regulations that will facilitate development of 5G based technologies and services.  “To ensure that we are able to launch 5G services in India along with the world, we have established 5G test beds through industry-academia partnerships, and we expect trials to be conducted over the next 12 months,” he said.  India will position itself as a “globally synchronized  participant” in manufacturing and development of 5G based technologies, products and applications, Sinha added.

In her address, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan noted that connectivity needs of developing and developed markets were different.  “Our challenges are different…we need telecom networks to deliver inclusion, basic services, to connect the unconnected, and serve the under-served,” she said, adding that India, with its technological prowess and manufacturing capabilities, is keen to partner other nations who are looking for affordable and robust digital communications solutions.

Rajiv Mehrotra, Chairman of VNL Ltd, highlighted the need to bridge the digital divide between rural and urban areas through connectivity solutions, and said that opportunities should be created for promoting indigenous telecom equipment manufacturing.


Separately, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) could come out with the pricing and quantum of newer spectrum bands including millimeter wavelength (mmWave) range for 5G wireless technology rollout if the government seeks its view, a top official told ETT.  “Government can ask for recommendations on new bands including millimeter wavelength (mmWave) band, and the telecom department can send us a reference,” Trai chairman Ram Sewak Sharma said, adding that the authority was in a view of opening up of all kinds of bands for newer technology.

The Narendra Modi-led government has already established a high-level 5G Forum under the Indo-American engineer and Stanford University professor emeritus AJ Paulraj which has already recommended newer bands to aid 5G rollout.  It has suggested mmWave band for the 5G technology and said that 140 Mhz spectrum for backhaul usage should be allowed in addition to opening up of new bands for indoor access in line with practices worldwide.


India’s 5G Conundrum: Mass Adoption not seen till 2023-2024!

by Hetal Gandhi (edited by Alan J Weissberger)

The writer is a Director at CRISIL Research

As the noise around India’s upcoming 5G spectrum auction rise, one must remember that ecosystem development is crucial to the success of next-generation technology. India is yet to complete the transition from 2G and 3G to 4G-LTE.  But the march towards 5G is inexorable and necessitates giga-buck spending. Telcos have already invested more than Rs 3 lakh crore (India money) over the past three years, and a large portion of that money has been used to roll out 4G-LTE networks across the country, and we are still counting.

The implementation of any paradigm-shifting technology spawns manifold ecosystem changes such as spectrum usage, network infrastructure and devices. While newer bands will be made available for 5G services in India, the reserve price for the spectrum bands, recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAIat around $0.23/MHz/pop (for metros), is almost twice compared to $0.12/MHz/pop auctioned in the UK in June 2018.

At TRAI’s pricing, owning a block of 20 MHz spectrum across circles in the 3.3-3.6 GHz band will cost a staggering Rs 98,000 crore or so. Also, high-frequency bands such as these will require more investments in cell sites because of their low-propagation characteristics.  Even though a combination of sub-1 GHz and 3.3-3.6 GHz is ideal for the 5G rollout, prices in the 700 MHz band remain very high while the rest of the sub-1 GHz bands will be mostly utiliszd for 2G (voice) and 4G-LTE services.

The government seems ready to conduct the 5G auction towards the end of 2019, but it is imperative for telcos to check the readiness of their ecosystems before plonking down truckloads of money to buy spectrum. On the other hand, if the US and China successfully adopt 5G by 2020 as expected, subsequent adopters will have the benefit of lower network equipment and device costs, thus making the ecosystem transition smoother.

An important 5G ecosystem prerequisite, essential to building use cases, is optic fibre networks. But India lags far behind with lower than 30 per cent use of fibre as on date compared to more than 70 per cent in the US and China. CRISIL Research estimates that India needs to lay another 10 lakh fibre km to be 5G-ready. That will require an investment of over Rs 1 lakh crore.

Nearly three-fourths of this cost will occur to get right-of-way (RoW) approvals, which can be as high as Rs 1 crore per km in metros. We believe it will take three-four years for telcos to reach the required fibre levels, given delays in RoW and other permissions.

For telcos, getting RoW approvals has been as much an issue as making investments and RoW issues may delay fibre deployment. However, leasing of fibre can significantly reduce the investments required, depending on sharing modalities, and it will also make India 5G-ready sooner.

Furthermore, the Indian telecom industry is struggling under a massive debt load of Rs 4 lakh crore (as of March 31, 2018). In the recent past, a combination of asset and stake sales and sponsor support have helped telcos maintain their debt levels. But bundling of voice with data amid a price war, coupled with high investments, has resulted in low returns. We now see low single-digit returns on the capital employed in the industry compared to more than 15 per cent three-four years ago. So, telcos need to explore areas of revenue generation to make such investments viable.

While 5G-enabled devices are expected to enter India in late 2019 or early 2020, it may take another three-four years before mass adoption of affordable versions takes place. With the number of interconnected devices rising, the Internet of things will unfold newer revenue streams across domains such as healthcare, education and transportation. A lot is in store for Indian telcos, but things will not take a clear shape before fiscal 2023.

Copyright 2019. Living Media India Ltd

2021 Commercial 5G pilots in India; Cisco #1 in India Network Equipment

Commercial 5G pilot networks in India are expected by 2021.  Upstart wireless network operator Reliance Jio has the advantage to transform its telecom network to offer newer technology, said a Cisco Systems top executive responsible for the APAC region.

“By 2021, India should finally see 5G commercial pilots,” Cisco Head of Asia Pacific & Japan – Service Provider Business Sanjay Kaul told ETT, adding that most of the country’s service providers were already on the journey towards 5G.

The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has already asked equipment vendors— Cisco, Samsung, Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia— to partner with India service providers Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) to start 5G-based field trials as early as January 2019 and demonstrate India-specific use cases to smoothe commercial rollouts.

Cisco has enabled the Mumbai-based Reliance Jio to foray into the fourth generation (4G) technology-based voice over long-term evolution (VoLTE) services in September 2016, and the two companies are currently working together to develop content delivery through the cloud in a lower latency environment— a key 5G feature.

“Jio has an advantage with its greenfield network while others like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and even BSNL are transforming their network at a rapid pace,” Kaul said.

Earlier, billionaire Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Jio has said that it could launch 5G services within the few months after acquiring the required spectrum.   Kaul believes that Reliance Jio and other telco incumbents would launch 5G-based digital services as the India government makes spectrum available at a cost bearable to the industry.

Cisco said that in a 5G environment, telecom networks network would truly become a service platform, and digital services uniquely crafted for small-and-mid-sized companies and consumers would help telcos to monetise their investments in network transformation and data center architecture.

“5G technology and architecture will truly provide service provider another opportunity to evolve from being a communication service provider to a true digital value player,” the Cisco executive added.

Jio also feels that telecom service operators should innovate to become a digital player in a competitive landscape.

4G and 5G networks would co-exist, according to Kaul, who attributed 4G for mass adoption of data and social networks, and added that 5G technology, unlike 3G and 4G, has technical features like low latency and high density.

Kaul believes that 4G is progressing with full throttle, and in a year’s time, it would be closer to 90% penetration in the country.

The incumbents— Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are investing to make 4G networks widespread while the youngest telecom player Jio that has built next-generation all-IP data network, has already penetrated more than 90% of the country. The public-sector BSNL is yet to get 4G spectrum from the government to compete with rivals.

“We have covered 90% of the Indian population with 4G, and we’ll soon reach to 99% of the country,” Jio president Mathew Oommen said.

“4G is showing good results, and I think all operators are really going for country-wide coverage and are accelerating their efforts,” Kaul said, adding that the time for 5G has arrived in the country.

The department has said that it would be ready to hold mega airwaves sale including frequencies in the 3300-3600 Mhz range, used to offer high-speed 5G services, in the second half of 2019.

The Narendra Modi-led NDA government is banking on the newer technology with the telecom department setting up a high-level 5G Forum to oversee 5G roadmap and rollout of services in tandem with matured markets worldwide.

The company feels that the newer technology would be unique in terms of creating and enabling mission-critical applications in various vertical domains such as transport, healthcare, finance, and security.
Cisco Systems has emerged as a leader in India’s network equipment market with a clear lead over rivals such as Nokia and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in the Ethernet, router and wireless local area network (WLAN) segments in the third quarter of 2018, according to an International Data Corporation (IDC) market research report.

“Cisco continues to dominate the Ethernet Switch market with a 65.7% share in Q3 2018, followed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Huawei,” IDC said, adding that Cisco accounted three-fourth of the router market in the same quarter.

With 65.7% market share, Cisco took a huge lead over Hewlett Packard Enterprise (6.7%), Huawei (3.3%) and Nokia (2.8%) in the Ethernet Switch market in the quarter.

According to IDC’s latest Asia/Pacific Quarterly Ethernet Switch Tracker, the Q3 2018 Ethernet Switch market in India stood at USD 160.3 million (by vendor revenue) with an excellent YoY growth of 34.4%.

ADC and Layer 3 categories predominantly drove the overall growth with high double-digit individual YoY rise, while Layer 2 also saw a YoY growth, though only marginal.  The India government’s push towards digitalization through upgrade of public infrastructure and multiple smart city initiatives; telecom infrastructure modernization drives and banking sector’s continual investment in network infrastructure to improve customer experience, is expected to drive growth in the coming quarters.  The router market in India reached $214.9 million with an exceptional year-on-year growth of 140.4%.


The San Jose, CA based company also dominated the router segment with 75% share, while Nokia (11.2%), Huawei (7%) and Juniper (5.5%) trailed behind in Q3 2018.

Cisco has retained the top spot in the WLAN market with a 24.8% market share in Q3 2018, followed by TP-Link (17.3%) and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (15.3%).

“The Ethernet switch, router, and WLAN market are expected to grow in single digits in terms of compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for 2017-2022,” IDC said in a statement.

“Software-defined networking solutions are expected to gain prominence as the enterprise infrastructure evolves from human-dependent systems to self-servicing, fully automated and seamlessly integrated systems,” Ranganath Sadasiva, Director— Enterprise at IDC India said.

The market research firm, however, believes that government and enterprise digitalization initiatives would be expected to drive growth across product categories.

“Mobile workforce, anytime anywhere access to enterprise networks, security across multiple channels and shift towards cloud-based application workload are key drivers for investment in network infrastructure,” Dileep Nadimpalli, Research Manager— Storage at IDC India said.


Recent Posts