The Ministry of Digital Development of the Russian Federation is strengthening protectionist measures in the telecommunications industry. The installation of foreign-made LTE base stations will be limited for Russian telecom operators from 2023. This was announced by the head of the Ministry of Digital Science Maksut Shadayev, speaking at a meeting of Russian President Vladimir Putin with members of the government via videoconference.
Why does the Ministry of Digital Industry believe that base stations for mobile communications in Russia should be built using domestic components? About this – in the material FAN.
wikipedia.org  / Fabian Horst / CC BY-SA 4.0
4G will be Russian
The LTE standard, the base stations of which in the Ministry of Digital Industry want to transfer to the Russian element base, is also known under the code name 4G, since it belongs to the fourth generation of cellular networks. In Russia, this standard is dominant in mobile networks – it is used not only by operators of the “big three”, but also by small providers of cellular services.
“In fact, from January 1, 2023, it will be possible to install only Russian base stations on the communication networks of our operators,” Shadayev said, commenting on the ministry’s initiative.
According to the head of the Ministry of Digital Science, such radical intentions are well-grounded: the department has already held preliminary negotiations with the main manufacturers of base stations. Moreover, we managed to agree with two of them on the localization of production in Russia and the transfer of rights and licenses to Russian partners for the production of modern base stations of communication of the LTE standard and provision of high-speed Internet access.
In general, this approach is understandable: despite the fact that LTE is the most massive standard today, this year it will celebrate its 13th anniversary. The world’s first network of this standard was launched in Stockholm and Oslo back in 2009. LTE came to Russia three years later – the first 4G network was launched in Moscow in the summer of 2012. Therefore, there is no particular danger in the ban on the use of foreign equipment in base stations – most of the network has already been built, so we are talking about the gradual but constant replacement of old stations with foreign components with new, Russian ones.
“This will significantly reduce the dependence of critical telecommunications infrastructure on foreign manufacturers, reduce sanctions risks, use the production opportunities that are created in microelectronics, the component base, so that we fill the base stations with components that will be installed on the communication network,” the minister said.
According to Shadayev, Rostec, AFK Sistema and USM Group are ready to produce such equipment in Russia, and all major mobile operators are interested in using it.
However, a more interesting statement was made in the part of the next generation networks – 5G. As the head of the Ministry of Digital Technologies clarified, Rostec has a large program for the production of 5G equipment, which is the cutting edge of today’s telecommunications technologies.
sk.ru  / Skolkovo Foundation
Let’s build our 4G – we can also 5G
For a comment on this pressing topic, FAN turned to Konstantin Trushkin – Marketing Director of the manufacturer of domestic microprocessors “Elbrus”.
“For 5G networks in Russia, a good reserve has already been created in terms of the component base. These are specialized digital signal processors from Russian manufacturers. Such processors can take over the primary signal processing, ”the expert explained.
According to Trushkin, the ideology of 5G networks is built taking into account signal processing in specialized data centers, without which it is almost impossible to maintain the operability of networks in this complex range. And this is where promising Russian developments can come in handy.
Universal processors “Elbrus”, in particular the new Russian server processor “Elbrus-16”, provide up to 30 GB / s I / O bandwidth and up to 1.5 teraflops of single precision, which is quite enough for 5G generation networks.
“The architecture of the new Russian processors is ideal for massive computing and digital signal processing. We carried out experiments and found that in real tasks when processing radar information, the architectural performance of Elbrus is not inferior to specialized Western-made processors, for example, the 6678 series from Texas Instruments. We believe that interesting results can be obtained in 5G networks, ”the expert added.
According to Konstantin Trushkin, the government’s declared rapid transition to a domestic element base in the telecommunications industry can only be welcomed. The communications industry has not only always been a large and reliable customer of microelectronics, but is also important for ensuring the security of the state and the economy, at the same time being a point of growth and a source of innovation. And the dominance of foreign equipment has always been a source of risks and the reason for the lagging behind Russia’s own manufacturing industry.
Therefore, the soonest transition of Russian mobile networks to domestic equipment can give the necessary impetus to the development of the entire microelectronics industry in Russia.