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Release 14

Release 14, brought about a series of Mission Critical enhancements, LTE support for V2x services, eLAA, 4 band Carrier Aggregation, inter-band Carrier Aggregation and more...
 

rel 14 image2

 
The 3GPP Summary of Release 14 Work Items is now available on-line...here
 
Functional freeze date including stable protocols was in June 2017 (...what does this mean?)

Some Background on Release 14

 

 

 


Release 15

Update of April 26, 2019

After initial delivery in late 2017 of ‘Non-Stand-Alone’ (NSA) NR new radio specifications for 5G, much effort focused in 2018 on timely completion of 3GPP Release 15 – the first full set of 5G standards – and on work to pass the first milestones for the 3GPP submission towards IMT-2020.

2019 NR schedule late drop pic3While initial specifications enabled non-standalone 5G radio systems integrated in previous-generation LTE networks, the scope of Release 15 expands to cover ‘standalone’ 5G, with a new radio system complemented by a next-generation core network. It also embraces enhancements to LTE and, implicitly, the Evolved Packet Core (EPC). This crucial way-point enables vendors to progress rapidly with chip design and initial network implementation during 2019.

As the Release 15 work has matured and drawn close to completion, the group’s focus is now shifting on to the first stage of Release 16, often referred to informally as ‘5G R15Phase 2’. By the end of the year, 83 studies relating to Release 16 plus a further thirteen relating to Rel-17 were in progress, covering topics as diverse as Multimedia Priority Service, Vehicle-to- everything (V2X) application layer services, 5G satellite access, Local Area Network support in 5G, wireless and wireline convergence for 5G, terminal positioning and location, communications in vertical domains and network automation and novel radio techniques. Further studies were launched or progressed on security, codecs and streaming services, LAN interworking, network slicing and the IoT.

Other activities focused on broadening the applicability of 3GPP technology to non-terrestrial radio access systems – from satellites and airborne base stations to maritime applications including ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship communications. Work also progressed on new Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) functionality for LTE, enhancing railway-oriented services originally developed using GSM radio technology which is now nearing its end of life.
 
(Source: ETSI Annual report 2018)

rel 15 image3
 

Further reading:

 

Release 16

At the TSG#88e Plenary meetings - ending July 3, 2020 - Release 16 was completed with both the Stage 3 freeze and the ASN.1 and OpenAPI specification freeze being approved. 

 graphic version3 SP 200222

The "Release 16 Description; Summary of Rel-16 Work Items" (TR21.916) is now available, with the Work Plan manager's summary notes for each of the Features within.  Although the detailed data on each piece of work (Studies, Work item descriptions, Features) is available via the work plan, or via the 3GPP Portal, we hope that the "initial state" (pre-Change Request state) of the Features in TR21.916 will be of use to you. 


Release 17

More 5G system enhancements are reaching maturity with the completion of Release 17. 

Release timeline R17 only


The "Release 17 Description; Summary of Rel-17 Work Items" (TR21.917) is now in production, with the Work Plan manager adding summary notes for each of the Features within.  Although the detailed data on each piece of work (Studies, Work item descriptions, Features) is available via the work plan, or via the 3GPP Portal, we hope that the "initial state" (pre-Change Request state) of the Features in TR21.917 will be of use to you. 

 The following areas were prioritized at the December 2019 TSG meetings, for inclusion in the release: 

rel 17 v2

Some Background on Release 17

Details of the features and work items under each 3GPP Release are contained in the Work plan.

 


Release 18

Release 18 is moving into focus, as Stage 3 work on Release 17 reaches maturity - with Rel-17 functional freeze achieved in March 2022.

Release timeline march22 v3

TSG Rel-18 timeline & content

  • Stage 2 functional freeze: March 2023
  • Stage 3 freeze: December 2023
  • Rel-18 content largely decided at the December 2021 TSGs (#94-e):

Release 18 features tsg95 v03

5G Advanced 3D Waves 450pxThe new 5G-Advanced marker

We now have an official 5G-Advanced logo, for use on 3GPP Reports and Specifications, from Release-18 onwards. 

The decision to adopt the new marker was taken at the 3GPP Project Coordination Group (PCG#46-e Meeting) in April 2021. The PCG has considered and approved the use of distinct 3GPP markers - logos - since the completion of early LTE work in 2008, to help distinguish new release capabilities and services that they bring.

Whether ‘LTE’ or ‘5G’, these markers have allowed the broader industry to achieve some clarity in their conversations about which 3GPP system they are referring to in a variety of conversations with partners and customers as well as within the 3GPP community.

Guidelines for the use of the 5G-Advanced logo are found ...here.

The Rel-18 Work Plan

As new studies and the detailed specification work begins, the Work Plan will be the place to go to to monitor the growth of Release 18. Every Plenary set of meetings sees an update to the 3GPP Work Plan review

The latest Work Plan is always available for download at https://www.3gpp.org/specifications/work-plan 

Some Background on Release 18

  • 3GPP news article: Advanced plans for 5G (July 6, 2021)
  • News story 'Evolution towards 5G-Advanced' - Link to webinar presentation by Wanshi Chen, TSG RAN Chair.
  • TR21.918 the "Release description; Release 18", will be approved and published at the end of the Release. Prior to that, draft versions will be available. 

 


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