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.
At the 3GPP TSG RAN Plenary Meeting in Lisbon yesterday, participants announced that the global mobile industry will be ready to start development of 5G NR for large-scale trials and commercial deployments by as early as 2019.
Participants included China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, LG Uplus, NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom, Vodafone, Verizon, AT&T, BT, Deutsche Telecom, TIM, Telefonica, Telia, T-Mobile USA, Sprint and Orange.
Vendor participants included Huawei, ZTE, Intel, Ericsson, LG Electronics, MediaTek, NEC, Samsung and Sony Mobile Communications.
The first 5G NR specification was completed as part of 3GPP Release 15 and marks an essential milestone towards full-scale development of 5G.
The 3GPP has announced plans to continue developing Release 15, including by adding support for Standalone 5G NR operations.
The 5G NT lower layer specifications have been designed so that they can support Standalone (SA) and Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G NR operation in a unified way.
“Having global 3GPP 5G NR standard by 2017 is one of key milestones to bring 5G into early commercial service in 2019,” SK Telecom head of ICT R&D center Jinhyo Park said.
“The first version of 5G NR not only provides a NSA solution for 5G deployment but also completes the common part of NSA and SA, which lay a solid foundation for a global unified 5G system with global market scale,” added China Mobile EVP Zhengmao Li.
“We believe the next important milestone that is SA standard providing end to end 5G new capability could be completed by June of 2018, which is very crucial to enable the operators to explore the enterprise and vertical markets.”