The Mobile Broadband Standard
Cover Story

RAN 5G Workshop - The Start of Something

Phoenix, AZ, USA, September 19, 2015

A 5G Workshop has been held in Phoenix this week. 550 delegates and over seventy presentations contributed to the discussion, which covered the full range of requirements that will feed TSG RAN work items for the next five years.

In his Workshop Summary (RWS-150073), Dino Flore, RAN Chairman and Workshop Chair, highlighted three high level use cases to be addressed:

  • Enhanced Mobile Broadband
  • Massive Machine Type Communications
  • Ultra-reliable and Low Latency Communications

New radio

There is an emerging consensus that there will be a new, non-backward compatible, radio access technology as part of 5G, supported by the need for LTE-Advanced evolution in parallel. A new Study Item (from RAN#70 in December) will develop scenarios and requirements for the new RAT.

The Workshop Summary stressed the need for “forward compatibility to be a design requirement for the new radio from the get-go” with the Study to “include careful investigation of design options to ensure forward compatibility for all use cases.”


There will be two phases for the eventual specification work.

  • Phase 1 to be completed by H2 2018 (End of 3GPP Release 15)
  • Phase 2 to be completed by Dec 2019 for the IMT 2020 submission and to address all identified use cases & requirements (End of 3GPP Release 16)
Recent News

NarrowBand IOT

September 17, 2015, Phoenix, USA

A major milestone was achieved this week in RAN (Plenary meeting #69) with the decision to standardize NB-IOT, a new narrowband radio technology to address the requirements of the Internet of Things (IoT). The new technology will provide improved indoor coverage, support of massive number of low throughput devices, low delay sensitivity, ultra-low device cost, low device power consumption and optimized network architecture.

The technology can be deployed “in-band”, utilizing resource blocks within a normal LTE carrier, or in the unused resource blocks within a LTE carrier’s guard-band, or “standalone” for deployments in dedicated spectrum.

NB-IoT is also particularly suitable for the re-farming of GSM channels. “It took us some twists and turns to get there, but we have now set a clear path in Release 13 to meet the needs of the 3GPP industry to further address the promising IoT market.” Dino Flore, the Chairman of 3GPP RAN said. “We entered the meeting with competing technology proposals for standardization. After lengthy discussions we came up with a harmonized technology proposal with very broad industry support as can be seen from the number of companies supporting the approved Work Item” Dino Flore added.

GCF Certification in sync with 3GPP

September 8, 2015

The latest edition of the GCF Certification News confirms that 60% of current device certification is for LTE systems and establishes the Forum's commitment to ensuring that "the scope of certification remains in sync with the steady stream of enhancements and new features that continue to emerge from 3GPP."

The GCF sees Carrier Aggregation as the focus of much of its work, acknowledging the importance of 3GPP's Band Combination Capability Signaling (BCCS) - which allows a device to advise the network which bands it is capable of supporting.

The GCF has recently approved a Work Item Description to verify Rel-11 BCCS and now also has an umbrella Work Item Description for the certification of Rel-12 devices incorporating LTE-Advanced Carrier Aggregation with three downlinks. The GCF reports that "So far, 42 inter-frequency combinations have been identified for 3DL Carrier Aggregation."

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