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Firm decision on Rel-17 delay in December

October 16, 2020

As cellular connectivity has become paramount in both business and everyday life during the pandemic the importance of 3GPP producing new releases of the standards, which further evolve and enrich 5G functionalities as well as access varieties, is as important as ever.

The cellular industry as well as the growing number of adjacent industries - making use of 5G - need a firm and reliable timeline for all the new features in 3GPP’s 5G standards rollout.

To this end 3GPP is taking a detailed review of the progress of its Rel-17 work program and will determine a completion schedule and all necessary means to adhere to this schedule at the upcoming TSG plenary meetings in December.

September 21, 2020 (original article text):

During the recent TSG SA#89-e meeting, the three TSG Chairs (CT, RAN and SA) confirmed that their groups will continue to study the situation, to arrive at the best common decision possible at the next Plenaries (December 7 – 11).

Although the Chairs have already agreed that the first half of 2021 meetings will be e-Meetings, by default, it is hoped that the next three months will bring clarity as to whether 3GPP can start to plan for getting back to face-to-face meetings later in the year.

In his RAN meeting summary (SP-200890) Balazs Bertenyi, TSG RAN Chair, expressed the hope that meetings could resume in 2021, to allow the groups to get Release 17 done with a minimum delay. However, he warned that if e-Meetings need to carry on beyond June, the delay could be greater than the six months currently being projected by the RAN leadership.

Lionel Morand, the TSG CT Chair presented his report (SP-200858), which echoed the need for a firm decision on the new schedule in December. He commented “The decision we take – on the delay to the Release 17 Stage 2 (normative) freeze date should be considered as firm and definitive. A moving target would make it very difficult to correctly plan for the Stage 3 (protocols) work.”

Georg Mayer noted that the groups are well aligned on the meeting schedules and now officials and delegates will continue the discussion about how long the delay must be. He advised that for the immediate Stage 2 work; more time was granted already. For the release as a whole, he said: “We want to give a clear statement in December on how long the Release 17 work will take. This situation is not ideal, but these are not ideal times.”

Further reading

More about the 3GPP Release-17 timeline is online here: https://www.3gpp.org/release-17 

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