Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces (RIS) corresponds to a planar surface composed of unit-cells, whose properties can be controlled dynamically to 'tune' the incident wireless signals through reflection, refraction, focusing, collimation, modulation or absorption. RIS can be potentially deployed for both indoor and outdoor usage, including offices, airports, shopping centres, lamp posts and advertising billboards, and may take any shape or be integrated onto objects. Its characteristics may also result in low energy consumption, making RIS a sustainable technology solution. RIS can be configured to operate at any part of the radio spectrum, including frequencies from below 6 GHz to THz, and may harness tools from Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to enable systems operation and optimization.

As RIS is envisaged to be a new enabling candidate wireless technology for the control of the radio signals between a transmitter and a receiver in a dynamic and goal-oriented way, turning the wireless environment into a service. This has motivated a host of potential new use cases targeting at:

  • i)  the enhancement of various system key-performance-indicators (KPIs), and
  • ii) the support of new wireless technology applications and capabilities.

These include enhancements to the capacity, coverage, positioning, security, and sustainability, as well as the support of further sensing, wireless power transfer, and ambient backscattering capabilities.

Our Roles & Activities

The ETSI Industry Specification Group (ISG) is a technical group addressing RIS pre-standardization work including the identification of technology and standards gaps through the following activities:

  • Identify Gaps and Recommendations of existing and required standards both inside ETSI and in other SDOs
  • Identify and describe RIS related use cases & specific scenarios, specify derived requirements and identify technology challenges in the following areas:
    • Fixed and Mobile Wireless Access
    • Fronthaul and Backhaul
    • Sensing and Positioning
    • Energy and EMF Exposure Limits
    • Security and Privacy
  • Document a networking e2e reference architecture including RIS elements
  • Describe RIS based specific deployment practice / guidelines
  • Provide a Gap Analysis for RIS microelectronics and enabling technologies
  • Provide and demonstrate PoCs and test case descriptions to validate standards-based approaches

ETSI ISG RIS prepares group reports on:

  • RIS use cases, deployment scenarios and requirements
  • RIS technological challenges, architecture and impact on standardization
  • RIS communication models, channel models, and evaluation methodology


A full list of related specifications in the public domain is accessible via the RIS committee page.