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Cover Story

3GPP on track to 5G

June 27, 2016

The latest plenary meeting of the 3GPP Technical Specifications Groups (TSG#72) has agreed on a detailed workplan for Release-15, the first release of 5G specifications.

The plan includes a set of intermediate tasks and check-points (see graphic below) to guide the ongoing studies in the Working Groups. These will get 3GPP in a position to make the next major round of workplan decisions when transitioning from the ongoing studies to the normative phase of the work in December 2016:- the start of SA2 normative work on Next Generation (NexGen) architecture and in March 2017:- the beginning of the RAN Working Group’s specification of the 5G New Radio (NR).

Recent News

SA1 completes its study into 5G requirements

June 23, 2016

Four new Technical Reports from 3GPP SA1 outline the New Services and Markets Technology Enablers (SMARTER) for next generation mobile telecommunications. All four were approved at the recent 3GPP SA#72 meeting, which now clears the way for the subsequent normative specification work to begin.

The Study started in 2015 - looking at potential 5G requirements - resulting in TR22.891 which contains more than 70 different use cases, now categorized in to different groups; massive Internet of Things, Critical Communications, enhanced Mobile Broadband, and Network Operation – which are also the titles of the four Technical Reports (TR):


Standardization of NB-IOT completed

June 22, 2016

Last week 3GPP completed the standardization of NB-IOT, the new narrowband radio technology developed for the Internet-of-Things (IoT).

The changes implementing the feature into Release 13 (LTE Advanced Pro) specifications are listed here. While corrections are still possible in the coming months, the feature is now frozen in the specification, and only essential backward-compatible changes will be allowed from now onwards.

“It took us only 9 months to standardize the new technology after the study phase. Once again 3GPP demonstrated the ability to quickly respond to the emerging market needs” Dino Flore, the Chairman of 3GPP RAN, said.

With the completion of the NB-IOT, 3GPP has concluded a major effort in Release 13 to address the IoT market. The portfolio of new technologies that 3GPP operators can now use to address their different market requirements includes NB-IOT, eMTC and EC-GSM-IoT.


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