It seems that we are going to get some kind of 5G standard this year. But it will not be the glamorous rumored 5G industry revolution we have been hyped for – but something much less than that (but still more than what 4G offers). To get the standard made in time 3GPP puts some items on hold to meet December deadline on 5G NR.The industry is getting a little help in meeting the December deadline to complete the nonstandalone (NSA) version of 5G New Radio (NR). For example Nokia is confident December 3GPP deadline will be met for nonstandalone 5G NR. Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G NR will utilize the existing LTE radio and core network as an anchor for mobility management and coverage while adding a new 5G carrier.This is the configuration that will be the target of early 2019 deployments. This version will not clearly meet the expectations of new use cases, such as the Internet of Things (internet connected devices), as well as broadcast-like services and lifeline communication in times of natural disaster.
According to EDN article 5G hits reality as 3GPP postpones features the 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project) got down to the hard work of balancing 5G network capabilities against a December deadline for finalizing the specifications for Phase 1, reality was bound to set in. It has; features are getting dropped or postponed. It’s not too surprising that some items would get cut from the wish list, especially given the compressed deadlines that envision a 2018 finalization of the standard, instead of 2020. Here is view to current timeline published at 3GPP web site:
According to 3GPP puts some items on hold to meet December deadline on 5G NR article at the plenary meeting in Sapporo, Japan, a couple of weeks ago, the decision was made to put a handful of study items on hold until December, but the time lost on the study items will be recovered in the first half of 2018: The items on hold include nonorthogonal multiple access, unlicensed spectrum for NR, nonterrestrial network (channel modeling), eV2X evaluation methodology, and integrated access and backhaul. Other reality checks for Phase 1 include the use of SISO (single input, single output) instead of MIMO and an initial baseline modulation scheme of 64 QAM per carrier instead of enabling 256 QAM. Based on a 100-MHz carrier data throughput is expected to be 2.4 Gbits/s (3× what’s currently doable on LTE).
The signs are on that 5G is coming. Mobile network operators view fixed wireless access (FWA) as the first application for 5G in millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum. Mobile 5G “certainly not” a 2018 story for most operators. But according to Qualcomm confident on early 2019 5G launch article Qualcomm Technologies EVP Cristiano Amon said he believes “without a doubt” 5G can be a commercial reality as soon as early 2019, though the industry was early on looking at a timeframe of 2020 to 2021 for commercial 5G launches. Of course, achieving 5G NR deployments in 2019 will require more than just R&D test beds and a 3GPP specification. Deutsche Telekom passes 2 Gbps in 5G NR non-standalone test where Huawei combines LTE bands with 5G carriers.