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Global Mobile Industry Leaders Commit to Accelerate 5G NR for Large-scale Trials and Deployments
02/27/2017 | By Netmanias (tech@netmanias.com)

 

Today a contingent of mobile communications companies announced their collective support for the acceleration of the 5G New Radio (NR) standardization schedule to enable large-scale trials and deployments as early as 2019. AT&T, NTT DOCOMO, INC., SK Telecom, Vodafone, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., British Telecom, Telstra, Korea Telecom, Intel, LG Uplus, KDDI, LG Electronics, Telia Company, Swisscom, TIM, Etisalat Group, Huawei, Sprint, Vivo, ZTE and Deutsche Telekom will support a corresponding work plan proposal for the first phase of the 5G NR specification at the next 3GPP RAN Plenary Meeting on March 6-9 in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

 

The first 3GPP 5G NR specification will be part of Release 15 – the global 5G standard that will make use of both sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum bands. Based on the current 3GPP Release 15 timeline the earliest 5G NR deployments based on standard-compliant 5G NR infrastructure and devices will likely not be possible until 2020. Instead, the new proposal introduces an intermediate milestone to complete specification documents related to a configuration called Non-Standalone 5G NR to enable large-scale trials and deployments starting in 2019. Non-Standalone 5G NR will utilize the existing LTE radio and evolved packet core network as an anchor for mobility management and coverage while adding a new 5G radio access carrier to enable certain 5G use cases starting in 2019. The new proposal and the intermediate milestone also re-affirm and solidify the schedule for the complete standard, including Standalone 5G NR in Release 15.

 

The supporting companies are further committed to make forward compatibility a key design principle for the standardization of the first release of 5G NR. This will enable in-band introduction of new capabilities and features in subsequent releases critical to enabling yet to be identified industries and use cases and achieving the 5G vision to connect everything to everything.

 

The proposal is consistent with 3GPP’s commitment to enable a flexible evolution and inter-working of the radio access network towards 5G NR and the evolution of the core network towards the 5G System.

 

As proven by the broad Industry support, this proposal delivers the ability to address the increasing global demand for enhanced mobile broadband services with 5G NR in 2019, while continuing to address the broader vision for 5G NR in 2020 and beyond.

 

SK Telecom

Park Jin-hyo, Senior Vice president, Head of Network Technology R&D Center, SK Telecom said, “As the demand for 5G commercialization is rapidly increasing, it is crucial to complete globally agreed 5G standardization in time. 3GPP NR is the global 5G standard and we are making continuous efforts to accelerate 3GPP NR standardization with partners.”

 

Korea Telecom

“We are pretty encouraged by the increasing voices heard within the telecom industry that the process of New Radio Specification should be expedited,” said YongGyoo Lee, Senior Vice President – Network Strategy, Korea Telecom. “KT views that Non-Standalone and Standalone modes are equally important for the sake of completeness of the Standard Specification. However, we believe that early introduction of 5G network, compensated by already-prevailing LTE coverage, is a reasonable approach for the operators when taking the ROI factors into the consideration, and it justifies the slight preference for NSA mode in terms of priority. Our view is that 5G is not just the matter of achieving higher data speed. Rather, we believe that it will completely turn around the way the communication service is provided to the customers and eventually open up the opportunity for the telecom operators to diversify the new revenue streams in a cost-effective way. I am sure that the whole industry will enjoy the benefits from quick introduction of 5G into the market, enabled by the acceleration of 5G NR Specification in 3GPP.”

 

NTT DOCOMO, INC.

Seizo Onoe, executive vice president and chief technology officer, NTT DOCOMO said, “5G is the key enabler to create new business opportunities across industries. DOCOMO plans a commercial launch with Non-Standalone 5G NR by 2020. Acceleration of the standardization schedule will facilitate early implementation of the standard-compliant 5G NR. We will ensure the highly-stable 5G services through large-scale trial activities with a wider range of industry partners.”

 

AT&T

“We support both the Standalone and Non-Standalone configurations of 5G New Radio,” said Tom Keathley, senior vice president- wireless network architecture and design, AT&T. “Our focus is on prioritizing important specifications in the standards to bring 5G to market as quickly as possible. In the process of defining any standard, it is normal to make some decisions earlier than others. These accelerated decisions on key components of 5G New Radio standards will allow an earlier start on the development of the infrastructure and devices of tomorrow’s 5G deployments.”

 

Deutsche Telekom

“Deutsche Telekom is committed to this initiative to accelerate the availability of standardized 5G technologies to meet the evolving broadband demands of our customers,” says Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CTO, Deutsche Telekom. “The early availability of standards will enable smooth evolution paths towards the next generation of communications, provide the basis for extensive pre-testing activities and generate confidence in the benefits and potential of the new technology for the entire industry.”

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