Technology Development

5G Testbed and Software Defined Network Controller

We have made significant contributions in unification of control and management of multiple radio access (multi-RAT) networks such as LTE-4G, 5G-New Radio, WiFi and TV Broadcast within the framework of Software Defined Networking (SDN).  Our innovation led to the formation of SDN based Middleware Working Group and IEEE standard project  “P1930.1-Recommended Practice for Software Defined Networking (SDN) based Middleware for Control and Management of Wireless Networks” under IEEE ComSoc Standards board. Our group has contributed in developing a disaggregated modular architecture for multi-RAT RAN and an abstract information model for the control and management of data plane in mobile networks in the standards project.

As part of a multi-institution 5G test bed project, our group has developed a fully functional SDN based middleware for unified multi-RAT control and management. We have also integrated a Ryu Controller in the test bed and developed multiple applications. Our group has also integrated non-3GPP access (Wi-Fi) with 5G Core following 3GPP defined protocols and interfaces. Both the access network functions such as Non-3GPP Interworking Function (N3IWF) as well as the Core Network functions such as AMF, SMF, and UPF have been implemented utilizing the concepts of Network Function Virtualization. Important features such as Network Slicing, AMF Selection, User Mobility, IP Security, and Multi access support are built into the test bed. The test bed has also been designed to support future enhancements with ease and to facilitate research on 5G and beyond networks.

Broadband Wireless Communications for Public Safety

We have developed Mission Critical Communications system leveraging LTE/4G+ technology in sub 1 GHz spectrum with public safety. Our group has designed and developed the software protocol stack which forms the base of any wireless communications used by Public Protection and Disaster Relief agencies worldwide. This communication system is based on the international Public Safety-LTE (PS-LTE) technology standard by 3GPP.

This system will not only enable the first responders to establish Push-to-Talk Communication (like using Group Communication, Emergency Calling, Floor Control features to direct the information flow) based on the broadband LTE-4G technology but also be able to setup prioritized 4G bearers for supporting one-to-one and Group Video Calls to enhance situational awareness.

Since the implementation of these components complies with 3GPP standards, it makes the Mission Critical Communication System a lot more flexible (by providing various options for communication) and interoperable so that two different agencies using Clients running on different hardware but serving a common area, can talk to each other.

The entire system has successfully completed interoperability testing with several international vendors in 5th edition of MCX Plugtest event organized by ETSI in October 2020.

Rural Broadband Technology and TV White Space Test-bed

While India has witnessed a spectacular growth in cellular networks, broadband penetration in the country is still limited. This is especially true for rural areas, which suffer from lack of broadband connectivity far more than urban areas. Cost effective last mile broadband connectivity can be provided by cellular 3G/4G/5G base stations or Wi-Fi access points. However, cost effective backhaul connectivity to base stations & access points has been a major stumbling block towards affordable broadband access in rural areas. In order to address the problem of backhaul for rural broadband, our group has envisaged a solution using TV white space based middle mile, called the “Gram Marg”. The propagation characteristics of the VHF/UHF radio signals make them ideal for their usage in rural areas where deployment of wired infrastructure may not be a cost-effective solution. Our team setup test-beds in semi-urban/rural regions in Palghar district of Maharashtra and determined technical parameters required for TV white space-based operation of broadband services in such regions. We also pioneered a novel network architecture to enable affordable broadband connectivity in rural areas, called the “Frugal 5G Networks” utilizing 5G Radio Access Network, WLAN and a Wireless Middle-Mile network. Many Research Papers and Patents have been published/filed by us on this innovative concept.

Past Technology Development Projects

In the past I have worked on the following projects:

Tata Teleservices IIT Bombay Telecom Center of Excellence and Technology Commercialization

I played a leadership role in establishing Telecom Centers of Excellence (TCOE) in public-private partnership in five IITs, IISc and IIM. I also served on the Executive Council of TCOE India, a registered society during 2012-14. The center at IIT Bombay was funded by Tata Teleservices and Department of Telecom and I was the Center Coordinator during 2009-2019. As part of this center I directed many technology development projects.

Network OPEX Optimization

This patented technology was commercialized by Panchsheel Research Pvt Ltd.

Mobile Social Networking Platform (MSNP)

We developed an innovative platform for facilitating and analyzing social contexts for providing targeted recommendations which has been granted a US patent. Some applications such as SmartPicks (handset bundle-offer), User Driven Health Care (UDHC) and Targeted caller tune recommendation were field tested and deployed on Tata Teleservices Network. For more details Download.

MSNP was launched in the curtain raiser ceremony of India Telecom 2011, New Delhi on 29th August, 2011. Here are few news items:

1) Medianama

2) The Hindu

Low Cost Cellular Backhaul for Rural Access (CeBRA)

Our group developed a novel low cost solution for cellular backhaul based on a modified optimized version of long distance unlicensed band radio. About 300 such links have been deployed in Tata Teleservices Network. For more details Download.

Emergency Communication System for Force 1 Anti-Terrorist Commando

Our group developed a state of the art emergency communication system for Force 1, an elite force formed to tackle terrorists in Maharashtra. This technology enables commandos' movements inside a building to be monitored in a remote control and command center through live video streaming over wireless.

This development has been covered in press news item: Read more

Open Source Software Development (Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) Router)

In my early years of research, I led a major project in open source software development in the area of Linux based Layer 3 router based on MPLS. The carefully planned effort of the team led to the development of Linux based MPLS router and the source code was made available worldwide in open source. I also led the effort of developing Linux based MPLS emulator for research and development purposes.

Metro Ethernet based Access Networks

In the years 2002-07, I was involved in the development of technology for telecom and broadband Internet access with specific focus on Indian service providers. Our team architected an innovative architecture that leverages the potential of Ethernet for providing Quality of Service (QoS) based triple play services. We also developed a novel method of transporting voice over packet switched networks like Ethernet and developed unique algorithms for enhancing the performance of packet voice communication.

A white paper written on Eisodus technology is `A EisoAccess Solution- A Broadband (R) Evolution'. I have authored a more complete tutorial article on challenges for broadband access in emerging economines like India- `Challenges for Broadband Deployment in India and Role of Metro Ethernet'. The related presentation can be found here.

Based on these ideas and with a vision to develop technology for Indian telecom markets indigenously, I founded a company called Eisodus Networks Private Limited. The company has been featured in Light Reading.

PARAM 9000 Super Computer Design

While as a Member of the Technical Staff and Team Coordinator in High Performance Computing and Communications (HPGC) group of C-DAC, Pune, I was responsible for the design of Interconnection Networks for the PARAM 9000 super computer.