2022 was the year in which Release 17 was functionally frozen – 3GPP’s first and only release completed remotely in its entirety, via email discussions and online sessions - due to the travel restrictions in place.
Some Release 17 highlights
TSG#95-e (March 2022) saw the completion of the Rel-17 functional freeze.
Some important Rel-17 projects were:
- Sidelink enhancements,
- Reduced capability (Redap) NR devices,
- NR operation extended to 71GHz,
- Further enhancements on MIMO for NR,
- NR over Non terrestrial Networks (NTN),
- IoT over NTN,
- UE power saving enhancements for NR,
- Enhancements to Integrated Access and Backhaul for NR,
- Enhancement of RAN slicing for NR,
- RF requirements enhancement for NR FR1,
- RF requirements for NR FR2,
- Coverage and positioning enhancements,
- NR and slicing QoE,
- Enhanced support of non-public networks,
- Support for uncrewed aerial systems,
- Support for edge computing in 5GC,
- Proximity-based services in 5GS,
- Access traffic steering, switch and splitting (ATSSS),
- Network automation for 5G (Phase 2).
During 2022, Release 18 started its progress - becoming the main focus from June onwards.
Some Background on Release 17
- 3GPP Work Plan review at Plenary #94e (SP-211658)
- Release 17 Update from SA2 - March 2021 - Lists the new Release-17 study items and work items, approved as the focus of further enhancements to the 5G system and enablers for new features and services.
- Evolution towards 5G-Advanced - May 2021 - 'Release 17 on time...'
- Press Release: "Release 17 timeline agreed" - December 14, 2020
- News story on "5G in Release 17 – strong radio evolution" - December 14, 2019
- TR21.917 the "Release description; Release 17", will be approved and published at the end of the Release. Prior to that, draft versions will be available.