ITU agrees on key 5G performance requirements for IMT-2020



  • Requirements for peak data rates and “user experienced” data rates
  • Spectral efficiency and latency also defined
  • Minimum connection density of one million devices per square km
  • Four distinct classes of mobility

At a meeting at the ITU in Geneva yesterday, representatives from the organisation’s membership together with academia and research institutions and completed a series of studies on the key performance requirements of 5G technologies for IMT-2020. So far, we know that the 3GPP will be submitting a standards proposal to the ITU, but there is a doubt that there will alternative submissions (as happened in previous generations of cellular).

"The IMT-2020 standard is set to be the global communication network for the coming decades and is on track to be in place by 2020,” said François Rancy, Director of ITU's Radiocommunication Bureau. “The next step is to agree on what will be the detailed specifications for IMT-2020, a standard that will underpin the next generations of mobile broadband and IoT connectivity.”

The ITU quite rightly anticipates that there will now be a number of early technical trials, market trials and deployments of 5G technologies based on the developments required for IMT-2020. These systems may not provide the full set of capabilities envisaged for IMT-2020, but the results of these early activities will assist the development of the final complete detailed specifications for IMT-2020.

The new draft report from the working group is expected to be finally approved by ITU-R Study Group 5 at its next meeting in November 2017. You can access the draft report here.

Here are some of the key facts from the report:

  • The minimum requirements for downlink peak data rate is 20Gbit/s
  • The minimum requirements for uplink peak data rate is 10Gbit/s
  • Target downlink “user experienced data rate” is 100Mbit/s
  • Target uplink “user experienced data rate” is 50Mbit/s
  • Downlink peak spectral efficiency is 30bit/s/Hz
  • Uplink peak spectral efficiency is 15bit/s/Hz
  • Minimum requirement for user plane latency for eMBB is 4ms
  • Minimum requirement for user plane latency for URLLC is 1ms
  • Minimum requirement for control plane latency is 20ms
  • A lower control plane latency of around 10ms is encouraged though
  • Minimum requirement for connection density is 1,000,000 devices per km2.
  • Requirement for bandwidth is at least 100MHz
  • Bandwidths up to 1GHz are required for higher frequencies (above 6GHz)
  • Four classes of mobility are defined:
    • Stationary: 0km/h
    • Pedestrian: 0km/h to 10km/h
    • Vehicular: 10km/h to 120km/h
    • High speed vehicular: 120km/h to 500km/h

“IMT-2020 will be the global cornerstone for all of activities related to broadband communications and the Internet of Things for the future – enriching lives in ways yet to be imagined," said ITU Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao.

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