Sunday, October 28, 2018

5G Americas details 3GPP Release 14, 15, 16

5G Americas, which is an industry trade association, published a 271-page whitepaper detailing the extensive standards work by 3GPP in the development of 5G wireless technology.

Some highlights of Wireless Technology Evolution: Transition from 4G to 5G

3GPP Release 14, which was frozen by mid-2017, produced LTE-Advanced Pro features. It also focused on the study items towards 5G mobile wireless technology and architecture including Cellular Vehicle to Everything (C-V2X) communications.

3GPP Release 15, the first phase of normative specifications for 5G, provided specifications for a wider range of spectrum bands, from below 6 GHz to millimeter (mm) Wave bands up to 100 GHz enabled by a New Radio (NR) access technology.  3GPP Rel-15 Non-Standalone 5G New Radio (NSA 5G NR) specifications were completed in December 2017. The 5G NSA specifications have an LTE anchor for the control plane communications with a 5G NR cell to boost user data. The Rel-15 Standalone 5G NR specification will work without any reliance on LTE and those specifications were completed in June 2018 along with specifications of the new core network. The new core network specified in Rel-15 will provide interaction with the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) 4G system with orchestration, virtualization, a clearly separate control and user plane, and signaling architecture. Network slicing and Service Level Agreement (SLA) for groups of devices of new vertical industries and services will be provided for by the 5G core specification.

3GPP Release 16 definition of work study items was completed on schedule in July 2018. Release 16, described as phase 2 of 5G, will primarily address any outstanding issues in Rel-15, expansion of 5G NR based on C-V2X capabilities, Industrial Internet of Things (IoT), enhancements to Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC), and 5G in operation in unlicensed spectrum and above 52.6 GHz. 5G efficiency improvements in Rel-16 will include enhancements to 5G Self-Organizing Networks (SON) and Big Data capabilities, MIMO enhancements, improved power consumption, support for device capabilities exchange, and a study of support for non-orthogonal multiple-access (NOMA). The Release 16 standards will be completed before the end of 2019 to target the ITU IMT-2020 submission.

Michael Recchione, Principle Engineer, Mobility CTO Group, Cisco and leader of the 5G Americas working group, explained, "We are looking upon a newly defined era in mobile technology. 3GPP Release 15 marks the start of that new 5G era, the new horizon technology enablers for the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles and ultra-reliable low latency communications that will enable connectivity previously unimaginable."

The full 271-page whitepaper is here:
http://www.5gamericas.org/files/8015/4024/0611/3GPP_Rel_14-16_10.22-final_for_upload.pdf

See also