Telecom Standards Body, COAI Lock Horns Over Local Standards for 5G


Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) officials to have meeting with India’s telecom standards body to figure out the superiority of the new enhancements.  

There is a fear in the telecom industry that the ongoing tussle between India’s telecom standards body and the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) over the development of local standards for 5G, may delay the roll-out of the next-generation technology.

According to a report by ET, COAI has slammed the Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI) for pushing modifications which don’t add much value to the already approved local specifications of the global 5G standards.


The association has also alleged that the modifications is being done without proper discussions with stakeholders.

Further it said that the TSDSI disregarded the protocol of taking the matter with the 3GPP — a global organisation for preparing specifications for mobile communications systems, including 5G technology — and instead approached the UN telecom body, ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R), the report said.

TSDSI’s Explanation

Meanwhile, TSDSI has defended its move saying that it was pushing for local modifications in the 5G standard to include a network capability called Large Cell Low Mobility (LMLC).

It noted that LMLC would enhance the signal transmission range of base stations and improve the battery life of mobile phones, which are both critical to Indian needs.

The body added that they were compelled to take the matter to the ITU-R in Geneva after the 3GPP refused to consider the suggested enhancements due to some geopolitical issues.

The argument continues

While TSDSI claimed getting support from telcos like Reliance Jio Infocomm and Bharti Airtel on these enhancements, COAI has denied any support.

COAI Director General Rajan Mathews informed ET that the LMLC specification for 5G standards was accepted by the 3GPP two years back.

“However, suddenly now some IIT professors want more enhancements, and didn’t follow the protocol to reach out to the 3GPP and decided to go to the ITU. If there is no proven improvement, then it is going to delay our ability to rollout 5G by two years,” Mathews was quoted as saying.

He added that telcos and vendors should be kept in the loop in such matter as they are the ones who would implement the technology and have to do network and device testing.

According to Mathews, COAI officials would be meeting with TSDSI and an IIT professor once they returned from Geneva, to figure out the superiority of the new enhancements.





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