3GPP signs off the first specification for 5G NR

The stage is set for commercial deployments of 5G NR as early as in 2019
Visitors walk under a 5G logo hanging from the ceiling on the second day of the Mobile World Congress on February 28, 2017 in Barcelona. (Source: Getty Images)
Visitors walk under a 5G logo hanging from the ceiling on the second day of the Mobile World Congress on February 28, 2017 in Barcelona. (Source: Getty Images)


3GPP has successfully completed the first implementable 5G NR specifications that define the first phase of the global 5G standard, at the 3GPP RAN Plenary meeting in Lisbon, Portugal. This has set the stage for the global mobile industry to start full-scale development of 5G NR for large-scale trials and commercial deployments as early as in 2019.

NSA 5G NR specs were approved today at RAN#78. Balazs Bertenyi , RAN Chair called it “an Impressive achievement in a remarkably short time, with credit due particularly to the Working Groups”. News article to follow on the 3GPP site and from 3GPP Member announcements. pic.twitter.com/b10fTV5V5n

— 3GPP Live (@3GPPLive) December 20, 2017

On February 27, 2017 in Barcelona, global mobile industry leaders announced their support for the acceleration of the 5G NR standardisation schedule, which introduced an intermediate milestone to complete the first implementable specification for Non-Standalone 5G NR operation. 

Qualcomm blog explains that Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G NR will utilise the existing LTE radio and core network as an anchor for mobility management and coverage while adding a new 5G carrier. 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). Standalone (SA) 5G NR implies full user and control plane capability for 5G NR, utilizing the 5G next-generation core network architecture (5G NGC) also being done in 3GPP. SA 5G NR technical specifications are expected to be completed in June 2018 as part of 3GPP Release 15.

“Reaching this milestone enables the next phase of equipment availability and movement to interoperability testing and early 5G availability,” said Hank Kafka, VP Access Architecture and Analytics at AT&T. 

Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CTO Deutsche Telekom said: “We view both the Non-Standalone and Standalone modes of New Radio as equally important for the completeness of the 5G standard specification. It is crucial that the industry now redoubles its focus on the Standalone mode to achieve progress towards a full 5G system, so we can bring key 5G innovations such as network slicing to our customers.”

“The open contribution-driven specification work and the rapid completion of the first 5G standards for global deployment demonstrates the strength of the 5G eco-system, ” said Erik Ekudden, CTO at Ericsson.

Yang Chaobin, president of Huawei 5G product line, said: “Huawei will keep working with global partners to bring 5G into the period of large-scale global commercial deployment from 2018.”

Marcus Weldon, president of Nokia Bell Labs and chief technology officer, Nokia, said: “5G will advance new possibilities for the role of wireless technology in society, leading to dynamic innovation in mobile broadband and in industrial automation for industry 4.0, enabling the creation of exciting new applications that connect and control our physical and digital worlds.”

Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies,  and president, Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. “We look forward to continue working with our mobile industry peers to bring 5G NR commercial networks and devices in 2019 in smartphone and other form factors, for both sub-6Ghz and mmWave frequency bands, and to continue developing 5G technologies to connect new industries and enable new services and user experiences in the years to come.”


the #5G journey (image courtesy: @Qualcomm ) pic.twitter.com/L0to25z3nI

— CommsMEA (@COMMSMEA) December 21, 2017


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