The 3GPP has approved a proposal to accelerate the 5G new radio (NR) standardization efforts to allow operators to speed up deployment of 5G services.
The standards body announced it has agreed to complete the non-standalone 5G NR specification process by the end of the year, instead of mid-2018 as initially planned.
Under the updated workplan, non-standalone 5G NR would then be finalized by March next year.
Non-standalone 5G NR mode will be designed to anchor a connection in LTE, using 5G NR carriers to improve data rates and reduce latency.
The move means non-standalone 5G NR products could be launched as early as 2019, instead of 2020 as initially scheduled. Standalone 5G NR is due to be standardized in mid-2018 and complete by September 2018.
The 3GPP was responding to lobbying from a group of major operators and vendors, who announced last week they had teamed up to support the proposal for the introduction of an interim standardiztion stage.