A contingent of mobile communications companies has expressed its commitment to accelerate the standardisation of 5G NR so as to enable early large-scale trials and deployments by 2019. The companies in this contingent include AT&T, NTT Docomo, SK Telecom, Vodafone, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies, British Telecom, Telstra, Korea Telecom, Intel, LG Uplus, KDDI, LG Electronics, Telia Company, Swisscom, TIM, Etisalat Group, Huawei, Sprint, Vivo, ZTE and Deutsche Telekom.
The global 5G standard specification will include both sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum bands. Considering the progress along the timeline, the deployment based on this might not be possible anytime before early 2020. To work around this, the new proposal has introduced an intermediate milestone to complete specification documents related to a configuration called Non-Standalone 5G NR to enable large-scale trials and deployments starting in 2019. Non-Standalone 5G NR will utilise the existing LTE radio and evolved packet core network as an anchor for mobility management and coverage while adding a new 5G radio access carrier to enable certain 5G use cases starting in 2019.
Tom Keathley, senior vice president- wireless network architecture and design, AT&T is of the opinion that these accelerated decisions will allow an earlier start on the development of the infrastructure and devices of future 5G deployments.
Arun Bansal, SVP and head of business unit network products, says: "The faster we commercialise 5G based on 3GPP specifications, the faster we will realise its benefits for the entire industry. We are thrilled to participate in this initiative to accelerate the 5G ecosystem and commercial deployment."
"We believe that early introduction of 5G network, compensated by already-prevailing LTE coverage, is a reasonable approach for the operators when taking the ROI factors into the consideration," says YongGyoo Lee, SVP, network strategy, Korea Telecom.