IIT-Hyderabad’s 5G product – Integrated Access Backhaul – drew tremendous response from G20 representatives, particularly from African and Asian nations, particularly Bangladesh that sought a pilot project, entailing shorter towers instead of costly optical fibre networks for internet.
Representatives from the G20 event on digital economy visited IIT-H to learn about 5G and 6G related products. “Invitees hailed the concept as useful, particularly in countries that cannot afford the cost of optic fibre network or lay fibres in remote areas. We will first conduct a pilot project in India,” said Prof Kiran Kuchi, founder of IIT-H incubate startup.
The project can be undertaken with any player or company with spectrum access once the proof-of-concept work is done. Any collaboration with other nations will be hammered out at the government level with IIT-H piloting the project, officials said. Several other 5G and 6G-related products are being developed at IIT’s startup, WiSig Networks.
Integrated Access Backhaul will cut cost of access by more than 50% as compared to optical fibre network. 5G requires a broadband backhaul network in addition to base stations for radio coverage. A backhaul network is a transport network that connects base stations to the core network via wired fibre optic cabling and IAB. Fibre is replaced with wireless network. When compared to fibre optic infrastructure, such networks help cover difficult locations, including villages and forests.
WiSig Networks has bagged a grant from the telecom department to develop advanced and accessible technology.
5G requires not only base stations for radio coverage, but also a broadband backhaul network. Thanks to 5G’s high frequencies in mmWave range, it’s possible to realize high bandwidth and directional wireless connections between the base stations and a wireless backhaul 5G core network. Integrated access means the same access technology is used by end devices to access a base station to access the wireless backhaul. ToI