First official 5G industry standards unveiled


The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a collaboration which unites seven telecommunications standard development organizations, released the first industry-wide standards for 5G New Radio (5G NR) Dec. 21. The landmark announcement at the Technical Specification Group Radio Access Network (TSG RAN) meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, will play a key role in the development and mass rollout of 5G.

The schedule for 5G NR has been accelerated in anticipation of rapidly increasing consumer demand and data usage. Non-standalone 5G NR will launch in early 2019, with the specifications for standalone 5G NR to be completed by June 2018.

3GPP’s members, which include U.S. carriers like Verizon and AT&T, as well as global telecommunication giants such as Telefonica and Nokia, praised the development.

“We’re proud to see the completion of this set of standards. Reaching this milestone enables the next phase of equipment availability and movement to interoperability testing and early 5G availability,” said Hank Kafka, AT&T’s vice president of Access Architecture and Analytics.

Erik Ekudden, Ericsson’s Chief Technical Officer said, “3GPP has done a tremendous job to complete the first 5G specifications according to industry demand and expectations.”

Meanwhile, Sprint CTO Dr. John Saw said, “We’re excited to help usher in the next generation of wireless networks that will drive new levels of innovation and progress around the world. We congratulate 3GPP and its delegates on this important milestone, and we look forward to working with our industry partners to deploy 5G NR in our 2.5 GHz (NR band n41) spectrum.”

3GPP will now focus on completing Release 15, which will be completed by June 2018, prioritizing “Option-3 stabilization and the Option-2 specification work,” with “migration to Option-4 and Option-7” to begin immediately after. The organization will check progress in March to determine if any adjustments are necessary.



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