The Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) is developing a platform for the creation of 5G equipment. Having won a grant competition, it was named Leading Research Center (LRC) and is entitled to a state support grant for the "Development of a single digital platform solution enabling effective design and deployment of radio access networks using a globally compatible next generation open communication standard (5G)."
The institute will realize this project in cooperation with Eltex, Russia's leading telecom equipment vendor, Radio Gigabit, one of the largest exporters of domestic wireless solutions, and Tomsk State University of Control Systems and Radio Electronics (TUSUR).
The project delivery expected from the LRC is a platform solution enabling the development and deployment of a line of OpenRAN 5G networks, with Eltex acting as the project hardware manufacturing lead.
The project customer is the Ministry of Digital Development, Telecommunications and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation (Mincomsvyaz). The Russian Venture Company will act as the LRC selection operator for the "Digital Economy of the Russian Federation" national program. The grant awarded to the LRC amounts to 300 million rubles.
All the hardware to be created within the project will support the international OpenRAN protocols. The LRC will adapt OpenRAN for Russia and promote it as the industry standard, making it available to all domestic telecom equipment vendors and allowing Russian solutions to enter the global market and compete with international vendors' products. Russia will eventually create a high-bit-rate wireless network hardware market immune to external sanctions and other risks, offering competitive and fully compatible functional elements of the multi-vendor telecom equipment package. This is a game-changing approach that appears to replace the currently widespread single-vendor telecom solutions.
The LRC is led by Vitaly Shub, a PhD in Physics and Mathematics and a recognized top manager and expert with over 25 years' expertise in the telecom industry.
"Wireless communications play a key role in the development of our country, as attested by the national program, 'Digital Economy of the Russian Federation.' For Skoltech, telecommunications have always been among the strategic targets. We have gained vast expertise and deep knowledge of the industry and put together what I believe is the strongest team of telecom experts in Russia. We work closely with operators and industrial companies operating locally and internationally. We place particular importance on our productive relationships with Rostec and Rostelecom, indisputable leaders of their respective industries. Collaborations with Russia's leading manufacturers and operators are the key to success for our LRC project.
OpenRAN allows for the creation of world-class local solutions and for their delivery to the global market and, ultimately, enables our operators to integrate top-notch Russian equipment in their networks to speed up 5G penetration in Russia and bolster the digitalization of various economy sectors ranging from agriculture and transport to housing and public utilities and social services."