In October 2022, the TSG SA WG2 Chair - Puneet Jain - provided an article (Highlights - Issue 5) on Rel-18 Stage-2 work in the working group. He listed the study items based on new (Rel-18) requirements and also those created as a result of unfulfilled Rel-17 requirements. See the article here: A Release 18 Update.
The TSG RAN Chair, Wanshi Chen, recently gave his RAN Rel-18 Project Update. In it, he identified the importance of Release 18, marking the start of 5G-Advanced. The RAN discussion on potential RAN Rel-18 projects has been carefully planned, starting from the first RAN Rel-18 workshop in June 2021.
In RAN#94-e, after multiple rounds of email discussion and conference calls, Working Group RAN1/2/3-led Rel-18 package was approved (as detailed in RP-213469). In the same package, there was also one RAN4-led Rel-18 WI and the corresponding RAN4 impact analysis for the approved RAN1/2/3-led Rel-18 items. The high-level overview of the corresponding TU budget was endorsed in RP-213697. All the corresponding SIDs/WIDs were also approved in RAN#94-e.
The primary focus in RAN#95-e for RAN Rel-18 were RAN4-led projects. Based on the fruitful email discussion in February 2022 focusing on potential RAN4-led R18 projects, RAN#95-e approved RAN4-led Rel-18 package in in a very smooth manner. The corresponding TU budget was endorsed in RP-220980 and later consolidated in RP-221019. All the corresponding RAN4-led Rel-18 SIDs/WIDs were approved in RAN#95-e as well.
Consequently, combining RAN#94-e and RAN#95-e, the package approval process for RAN Rel-18 is now completed.
The Rel-18 Work Plan
As new studies and the detailed specification work begins, the Work Plan will be the place to monitor the growth of Release 18. Every Plenary set of meetings sees a major update to the 3GPP Work Plan.
The latest Work Plan is always available for download at https://www.3gpp.org/specifications/work-plan
Some Background on Release 18
- A Release 18 Update - Puneet Jain, 3GPP Working Group SA2 Chair (Oct. 2022)
- 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.
- 3GPP Release 18 Overview - ATIS webinar February 2, 2023 and on replay
About the ‘5G Advanced’ logo
We 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 since the completion of early LTE work in 2008, to help distinguish new release capabilities and the 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.