What is the IEEE 2061-2024 standard?

Jul 04, 2024

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This Standard specifies an architecture for a low mobility and energy efficient network for affordable broadband access. This network is referred to as the Frugal 5G network. The network comprises of a wireless middle-mile network, an access network and the associated control and management functions.

What Are Access and Core Networks?

Access Network (AN): The AN includes base stations that provide wireless connectivity to mobile devices within a limited geographical area. These are commonly seen as towers with antennas.

Coverage: Network operators install base stations across regions to ensure coverage. Each base station serves a specific area.

Core Network (CN): The CN connects these base stations to other networks, such as the Internet. It operates centrally and is linked to base stations via optical fiber links called backhaul.

Data Flow: Data from a user’s device passes through both the AN and CN to reach its destination. Even nearby users must route data through the CN.

How IEEE 2061 is different?

The IEEE-2061 network also includes a CN and AN similar to cellular networks. However, the IEEE-2061 AN is heterogenous wherein different types of base stations coexist: it includes base stations covering large coverage areas — called macro-BS — supplemented by small coverage area Wi-Fi. It is different from the 5G network, where the AN is homogeneous comprising base stations of the same type and typically smaller coverage area.

Is this IEEE-2061 first such standard?

In sum, the IEEE 2061-2024 is the second IEEE standard to come out of the research efforts of Prof. Karandikar’s lab at IIT Bombay. It follows on the heels of IEEE 1930.1-2022, a standard on “beyond 5G networks”, which also incorporated some of our research ideas as its key elements.

If adopted, IEEE 2061 can help provide affordable connectivity to rural populations. Its novel concepts, including the CN bypass, and integrated AN control may also pave the way towards a flexible and scalable mobile network in future.

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