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Release 18

Release 18 content, priorities and timeline are now moving into the discussion and decision phase.  The prioritization process on Rel-18 features should be complete by the end of 2021 - with 'Rel-18 Package Approval' scheduled for TSGs#94:

Release timeline v2 july R17 R18

TSG SA Status of Rel-18 work

The June 2021 TSG SA#92-e meeting has discussed and approved some early Rel-18 Study/Work Items, but no detailed scoping & prioritization discussions have yet taken place in TSG SA. Release 17 completion will remain the priority in Q3.

There will be a TSG SA Release 18 workshop on September 9-10, 2021. The main purpose of the workshop is to:

  • Bring all of SA up-to date on the status and next steps of Rel-18
  • Give companies the opportunity to indicate, discuss and possibly synchronize their Rel-18 plans
  • Prepare for joint session with RAN and CT on Rel-18 planning during plenary week


TSG RAN Status of Rel-18 work

The TSG RAN Rel-18 workshop took place from June 28 - July 2, 2021.

Preliminary Proposals for Rel-18 consideration focused on the following areas:

  • eMBB-driven Functional Evolution
  • Non-eMBB-driven Functional Evolution
  • Cross-Functionalities for both eMBB and Non-eMBB Evolution

See the news article: Advanced plans for 5G (July 6, 2021) for details of the workshop and links to the presentations.

The workshop was the start of a process that will be completed at the RAN#94 December Plenary, with cross-group Rel-18 Package Approval (note: WG RAN4 package approval is set to follow, in March 2022).

The formal timeline for the Release will be clearer after the TSG RAN#93, TSG SA#93 and TSG CT#93 Plenaries in September 2021. 

The new 5G-Advanced marker

5G Advanced 3D Waves 450pxWe 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

 workplan tsg92

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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