3GPP publishes initial timeline for 5G
3GPP has endorsed what has been described as ‘a tentative timeline for the standardisation of next generation cellular technology, also known as “5G”.’
Whilst you will not see an arrow showing you “5G begins here”, the timeline shows that much of the 3GPP’s work will begin later this year as it looks to develop candidate technology, a radio access network and potential new architecture in line with the expectations of IMT2020. It may be helpful, at this point, to regard IMT2020 as 5G by another name . In time, one suspects, 3GPP may start calling this technology 5G, rather than “next generation cellular technology, also known as ‘5G’ – but at the moment the distinction serves a useful purpose – drawing as it does a line between what 3GPP’s role is (standardising cellular technology) and what one might call “wider 5G” – the whole system-wide approach that includes, cloud, NFV, SDN, IoT and so on under the 5G umbrella.
So, 3GPP has made a commitment to submit the final specifications of a candidate technology to the IMT 2020 process in February 2020, eight months before the deadline in order to leave partners enough time to transpose their own specifications.
In terms of radio access, 3GPP will host a workshop in Phoenix, USA in September this year where companies can share their views on next-generation radio technology. A RAN study should duly be approved three months later, with the bulk of requirements expected to be agreed in the first half-year.
3GPP will base any new architecture required for 5G on radio requirements established by RAN and the service/system requirements established by SA1/SA2 (System Aspects Working Group 1/2) and will ensure there is close co-operation between both RAN and System Working Groups.
Evidently concerned about the time required to carry out additional channel modelling for ‘operation above 6Hz’ will , 3GPP have outlined that its efforts will start in September of this year on an ad-hoc basis and has also suggested that its RAN group may look to use external organisations to help development in this area in the future.
“the term 5G will not be used explicitly when work starts”
As mentioned, 3GPP emphasises that it will not be explicitly using the term 5G when work starts , claiming it will remain a marketing and industry label.