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Advanced plans for 5G

July 6, 2021

The past few days (June 28 – July 2, 2021) have seen the first internal 3GPP workshop on the radio specific content of Release 18, reviewing over 500 company and partner organization’s presentations, to identify topics for the immediate and longer-term commercial needs for*:

  • eMBB (evolved Mobile BroadBand);
  • Non-eMBB evolution;
  • Cross-functionalities for both eMBB and non-eMBB driven evolution.

The workshop is the start of a process that will be completed at the December Plenaries, with cross-group Rel-18 Package Approval (note: WG RAN4 - Radio Performance and Protocol Aspects - package approval is set to follow, in March 2022).

The time duration for the release in RAN is tentatively set at 18 months, with the final decision on that to be confirmed in September 2021, following TSG RAN#93-e.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

By Gino Masini, Yin Gao, Sasha Sirotkin (Article first published in HIGHLIGHTS Issue 02, March 2021).

Title: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in NG-RAN: New Study in RAN3.

5G brings more stringent requirements for Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) like latency, reliability, user experience, and others; jointly optimizing those KPIs is becoming more challenging due to the increased complexity of foreseen deployments. Operators and vendors are now turning their attention to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML) to address this challenge. For this reason, following RAN plenary approval, 3GPP RAN3 has recently started a new Release-17 study on the applications of AI/ML to RAN.

Evolution towards 5G-Advanced

May 11, 2021

Following his appointment to the RAN Chair, Wanshi Chen has laid out his immediate priorities for the year and for meetings well into 2022 - In a recent ETSI webinar. He has also unveiled the preliminary topics of a June 2021 Workshop on Release 18 – With submissions to be divided into three areas (preliminary agenda): eMBB driven work, Non-eMBB driven functionality and Cross-functionality for both.

The webinar, recorded on May 5, 2021, is now available on the 3GPP Vimeo site: https://vimeo.com/548457634 (no registration required).

Release 17 on time

Wanshi Chen acknowledged that Release 17 - the third release of 5G specifications - has been under pressure due to COVID-19 restrictions, but despite making the move to e-meetings, he reported that the group’s experts have managed to ensure positive progress towards the freeze of the RAN1 physical layer specifications on schedule, by December 2021.

Release 17 Update from SA2

By Puneet Jain, 3GPP Working Group SA2 Chair (Article first published in HIGHLIGHTS Issue 02, March 2021).

Technical Specification Group SA Working Group 2 is in charge of developing the Stage-2 specifications of the overall system architecture - including the main functions and entities of the 3GPP network, how these entities are linked to each other and the information they exchange.

The group defined the 5G system architecture as part of 3GPP Release-15 and has continued its progress with the Release-16 work - focusing on following key focus areas:


3GPP TSG election results

March 24, 2021

The 3GPP Technical Specification Group (TSG) Plenary e-meetings are now being held, concluding on March 26.

In addition to making progress on Release-17 studies and specifications, all three TSGs have now held leadership elections, for Chair and Vice-Chair positions. Elections in 3GPP are held every two years, with the officials appointed in a series of election rounds of delegate votes, on behalf of their individual 3GPP member companies or organizations.


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