December 14, 2018
by Balazs Bertenyi, Chairman 3GPP TSG RAN
At the TSG RAN plenary, held in Sorrento, December 10 – 13, the group made some decisions with respect to the delivery schedule – or in 3GPP language ‘freeze schedule’ for the 2nd wave of 5G specifications. The figure below depicts the adjusted overall schedule.
As we know:
3GPP is delivering Release 15 to the industry in 3 distinct steps:
- ‘Early’ drop: contains Non-standalone 5G specifications (so called Option-3 family), frozen in March 2018;
- ‘Main’ drop: contains Standalone 5G (so called Option-2), frozen in September 2018;
- ‘Late’ drop: contains additional migration architectures (so called Option-4, Option-7, and 5G-5G dual connectivity), to be frozen in June 2019.
In the news recently:
As described in last week’s article the first 5G deployments will use the September 2018 version of the specifications (the ‘early’ and the ‘main’ drop), and selected additional Change Requests approved at RAN#82 this week. These specifications are mature and will provide a stable base for early 5G deployment schedules across the globe.
Over the course of 2018 3GPP RAN has put extreme focus on ensuring the stability and compatibility of these specification that are to be used for the first 5G deployments. As a consequence, work on components for the ‘late drop’ that address additional architecture options to aid migration from LTE to 5G have been slightly delayed. Hence the freeze schedule for the Release 15 late drop was shifted by 3 months.
It is important to note, though, that this shift does not in any way impact the first 5G deployments. The compatibility of devices and networks used for the first deployments are not impacted.
In order to ensure better completion stability for future releases RAN#82 decided to inject a 3-month gap between the completion of radio physical layer specifications (i.e. RAN1) and the completion of higher layer radio protocol and RF/RRM specifications (RAN2, RAN3, RAN4 core). For Release 16 the gap is enabled through a 3-month shift of the overall completion timeline of the release.
RAN#82 has also started to make plans for Release 17, concluding that by December 2019, 3GPP will have approved the work items describing its features. The eventual target completion date for Release 17 will be decided at the next 3GPP plenary in March 2019.
Contact for this article: Kevin FLYNN, Marketing and Communications Officer, 3GPP
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