3GPP-Organized Meeting Produces First Major 5G Standard

Dec 24, 2017, 00:47
3GPP-Organized Meeting Produces First Major 5G Standard

"As part of this coordinated effort, Intel will continue to play a leading role across the network, cloud and client devices; and with our first commercial 5G modems, we will help the ecosystem lead the way to 5G deployments worldwide", said Asha Keddy, Intel VP and General Manager, Next Generation and Standards. To address the ever-increasing global demand for mobile broadband that will drive a 30x growth in mobile data traffic from 2014 to 2020 (source: Nokia Bell Labs Consulting Report, 2016). The second-largest telecom company in the United States has been running small trials of its 5G network in Austin over the course of 2017. With the first standards ready now, the industry expects to start 5G commercial services from 2019.

To be clear, this isn't the end of work on 5G. But what do "Non-Standalone" and "Standalone" actually mean?

Some of the biggest names in the mobile industry have completed the first 5G new radio (NR) specification, paving the way for full-scale development of the technology. This is the configuration that will be the target of early 2019 deployments (in 3GPP terminology, this is NSA 5G NR deployment scenario Option 3). Qualcomm has already announced support for the new standard and has plans to immediately begin development of future 5G products.

A Standalone (SA) variant is expected to be ready for June 2018 that will provide full networking capabilities for end-users and control plane abilities for 5G NR. Both the NSA and SA versions share physical radio air interface aspects.

Luke Ibbetson, Vodafone's Head of Group R&D, said that this first multi-vendor interoperability test of 5G within days of the completion of the 3GPP standard paves the way for Vodafone to trial commercial grade equipment in the coming year.

SK Telecom believes that a 5G demonstration network KT built for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics is based on the "PyeongChang standard" only and does not meet global standards so many parts of the network will need eliminating or upgrading after the Olympics.

Still, this is a major step forward. News article to follow on the 3GPP site and from 3GPP Member announcements.