June 28, 2016
Telecoms standardization body 3GPP has mapped out the roadmap to release 15, which will contain the first set of 5G specifications.
A recent plenary meeting of the 3GPP Technical Specifications Groups concluded with a series of milestones over the next couple of years culminating in the freezing of key technologies in June 2018.
The timeline below illustrates some of the checkpoints, including a major checkpoint in March 2017. Most of the announcement is written in similarly opaque language, with talk of “transitioning from the ongoing studies to the normative phase of the work in December 2016.”
A lot of the focus is on New Radio (NR) and what, specifically, that might entail. Here’s what the announcement had to say on the matter:
3GPP TSG RAN further agreed that the target NR scope for Release 15 includes support of the following:
Standalone and Non-Standalone NR operation (with work for both starting in conjunction and running together)
Non-standalone NR in this context implies using LTE as control plane anchor. Standalone NR implies full control plane capability for NR.
Some potential architecture configuration options are shown in RP-161266 (5G architecture options) for information and will be analyzed further during the study
Target usecases: Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), as well as Low Latency and High Reliability to enable some Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLCC) usecases
Frequency ranges below 6GHz and above 6GHz
“We now have a more concrete plan to guide the studies in the Working Groups and to put us in the position to address both short term and long term opportunities of 5G,” said Dino Flore, Chairman of 3GPP TSG RAN. “3GPP continues to actively coordinate radio access NR and Next Generation system level work to standardize target services on schedule” said Erik Guttman, Chairman of 3GPP TSG SA.
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