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Progress in TSG SA (Post SA#87-e)

April 27, 2020

During his recent webinar, TSG SA Chair, Georg Mayer described the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 3GPP schedule. He also gave an update on the latest 3GPP releases and made a commitment to bring in further initiatives for new experts, to make 3GPP more approachable in the future.

On e-meetings replacing physical meetings, Georg Mayer observed that it is “likely that the crisis will mean that we will have to cancel more F2F meetings in Q3 and even Q4.” He noted that the resumption of the F2F meeting cycle is not just dependent on the virus being defeated; It will take time for Government and company travel restrictions to be lifted. He concluded; “As a global organization, we are dependent that people from all corners of the world can participate - and in the current situation this is very challenging”.

On a positive note, he reported that e-meetings have gone very well and that Release 16 is set to be completed at the end of June 2020. He explained the significance of the extra three months taken for the Rel-16 functional freeze, now scheduled to coincide with end of the ASN.1 and API coding phase. By doing that, the 3GPP groups can complete the release in time for a critical 5G deadline, as the due date falls for 3GPP’s submission to the ITU IMT-2020 process.

Release timeline R16 R17For Release 17, the work package is stable and SA2 has prioritized the stage 2 work, with feature studies started in Q2 2020.

The release brings a series of enhancements to the system, but also brings in new features – many serving the verticals. Georg Mayer highlighted that to serve the broad needs of the new 5G use cases, 3GPP now provides a tool box approach - where a set of common vertical industry requirements can be met, as a priority.

SA rel17 featuresWith 5G bringing a new population to the 3GPP groups, Georg Mayer highlighted some steps being taken, at the leadership level, to help newcomers to navigate their way into the work. As soon as F2F meetings start again, there will be further newcomer sessions at the Plenary meeting and a new system of delegate mentoring – which had started prior to F2F meetings being halted - will be fully launched.

During the questions at the end of this webinar; the role of SA6 came up and a question about the role of the verticals supporting Associations. Finally, there was a question about how some features could be shifted out to Rel-18 if necessary, due to work load issues.


Contact for this article: Kevin FLYNN, Marketing and Communications Officer, 3GPP
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