5G hits reality as 3GPP postpones features

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.


Nokia confident December 3GPP deadline will be met for nonstandalone 5G NR

3GPP puts some items on hold to meet December deadline on 5G NR

3GPP delays 5G study items to hit December deadline

5G hits reality as 3GPP postpones features

Delivering 5G mmWave fixed wireless access

Reading the signs: 5G is coming

Verizon: Mobile 5G “certainly not” a 2018 story

Qualcomm confident on early 2019 5G launch

3GPP agrees on plan to accelerate 5G NR – the global 5G standard – for 2019 deployments

Deutsche Telekom passes 2 Gbps in 5G NR non-standalone test

5G-NR workplan for eMBB

What’s Behind ‘Non-Standalone’ 5G?


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    5G is not enough, 6G is needed

    Huawei organized yesterday the first event where product development in Finland was presented to an international supplier group. Mikko Terho, head of the research centers in Helsinki and Tampere, told reporters that he did not believe the 5G technology would meet all of the requirements set

    - Finally, everything is connected to the internet and the connections should be real-time. The one millisecond latency defined by 5G would be good enough, but the network is virtually unable to do so.

    Terho himself is spotting the web technology, where different devices would create a real-time urban model. Or “city scene” as the power it appoints. The network connection would then work with all kinds of devices: with foldable devices, AR-glasses – although their development is still in the early stages – and the like. – Actually, these are the 6G features, Terho defines.

    Terho has a total of 300 developers. The units have no specific responsibility for any research area, but of course they have their own strong areas of expertise. For example, Helsinki has made a demanding antenna design for the new Mate 10 and the development of the upcoming 5G radios. In Tampere, for example, image and audio processing algorithms have been made.

    Source: http://www.etn.fi/index.php/13-news/7124-5g-n-viive-ei-riitae-tarvitaan-6g

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Is 5G for real?

    Recently, a colleague asked me, “is 5G for real?” Not exactly the question that I was expecting, but there was something behind the question that gave me pause. Of course, 5G is not real—at least not yet—but that wasn’t the question. My colleague was really asking, “is 5G going to be as impactful as everyone anticipates?” Having been involved in the wireless industry for many years, I must admit to a certain fascination regarding 5G mainly due to the innovative technologies being proposed. But that’s a story for another day.

    The question probes deeper into the business impact. When I searched for “5G business impact” I was rewarded with a paper by IHS Markit that attempts to answer my colleague’s question. IHS Markit speculates that 5G will become a General-Purpose Technology (GPT), a development so impactful that it becomes a catalyst for socio-economic transformation. To give you some perspective, other examples cited as GPTs in our history include the printing press and electricity.

  3. Tomi Engdahl says:

    The British operator demonstrated 2.8 gigabits of 5G speed

    The English operator EE has taken a big step on the road to operating 5G networks. In its laboratory, the company demos the connections in which data was transferred at a 2.8 gigabit per second.

    In EE’s demo, it was wonderful that the solutions were based on commercial technology. Huawe’s backbone software spins virtualized on the HP server. The antenna system had 64 x 64 channels that produced a 2.8 gigabit data rate in the 3.5 gigahertz range.

    There was a hundred megahertz wide channel in use.

    The base unit was Huawei’s new prototype.

    The result is impressive. In the link, data was transferred at 2.8 gigabit per second with a delay of less than 5 milliseconds. The delay was further measured at the end of the test arrangement, so it was substantially shorter in the air interface.

    The architecture of the hardware was based on version 3 of the 3GPP Release 15 Configuration, which will be completed in the oral and formally ratified next April. The determination is the first official and global standard on which to build upcoming 5G networks.

    Source: http://etn.fi/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7172&via=n&datum=2017-11-16_15:01:34&mottagare=31202

  4. Tomi Engdahl says:

    BT boss: Yeah, making a business case for 5G is hard
    Also, we’ve not delayed the spectrum auction. Anyway, Three started it!

    Chief exec of BT, Gavin Patterson, has admitted the British telco is struggling to make a business case for 5G investment, given the huge costs of getting the network off the ground.

    Speaking at the Huawei Global Mobile Broadband Forum in London, Patterson said: “I talk to other CEOs around the world… and we’ve all been struggling a little bit to make the business case work.”

    He said the shift to 5G will involve “significant investment” and capital expenditure. “We’ve got to finish the job on 4G, and we’ve got to make sure we get the return on investment [on that].”

    The case for 4G was easier, as it was clear the technology would improve the poor internet experience of 3G, he said. “We’ve not found that yet on 5G.” While the transition to 5G will also create a better internet experience, it may not be until the Internet of Things takes off that new revenue streams are identified. “Finding the use cases is the biggest challenge we have at the moment.”

  5. Tomi Engdahl says:

    KGI again says 2018 iPhones will feature gigabit LTE technology

    Ming-Chi Kuo of KGI Securities is out with what he refers to as “part two” of his analysis into Apple’s work on creating a 5G iPhone and what the near future holds.

    This investors note says that Apple may adopt faster antenna modules in all of its 2018 iPhones, and offers more information about suppliers for next year’s iPhone antenna modules. Much of the report reiterates a note from KGI last week.

    First off, Kuo explains that antenna design is a key factor in the “anticipated boost to LTE transmission speed” coming with the 2018 iPhone lineup. He says the new iPhones introduced next year will be capable of supporting 4×4 MIMO standards, allowing for improved speeds for users.

    Furthermore, Kuo says Apple’s move to new cellular modules will cause shifts in the supply chain. For supplier Career, Kuo says Apple’s upgrade will help improve average selling price and give it a larger chunk of the order allocation. Currently, Career supplies 20 percent to 25 percent of Apple’s LTE antenna orders, but that could rise to as high as 50 percent next year.

  6. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 12
    Sunny days slow 5G; MoS2 for security; semi-transparent solar.

    5G networks promise a world of fast wireless data speeds and connected everything. However, researchers at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and King Saud University found that hot, sunny weather could degrade 5G cellular transmissions by more than 15%.

    The researchers focused on how solar radio emissions would affect the unlicensed 60 GHz bands, part of the millimeter wave spectrum appealing to cellular operators hoping to avoid the more expensive licensed bands.

    Hot Sunny Days Could Slow 5G Networks But Research Offers Solutions

    Hot, sunny weather could degrade future fifth-generation or “5G” cellular transmissions by more than 15% — which could mean more dropped calls in places like Florida and the Middle East — but an Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University engineer says research will guide solutions.

    Forthcoming 5G cellular systems could support applications requiring ultra-fast processing speeds by tapping into super-high frequency radio waves, which would offer 10 to 100 times more computing space than today’s 4G cellular systems.

    But, how would bright sunshine affect such high-speed transmissions?

    To answer this question, Ahmed Sulyman, an associate professor in Embry-Riddle’s Prescott, Ariz.-based Department of Computer, Electrical, & Software Engineering, teamed up with colleagues in Saudi Arabia to publish the first comprehensive analysis of solar radio emissions on land-based wireless communications systems at 60 Gigahertz (GHz) bands.

    Sulyman’s study appears in a special edition of the peer-reviewed journal IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation (Volume: 65, Issue 12, Dec. 2017, pp. 6624-6635).

    The conclusion? Future 5G cellular systems using 60 GHz bands might work better at night because solar radio emissions seem to degrade such transmissions. “This suggests there could be more dropped calls and lost data transmission, and the data rate could be lower during the day compared to nighttime,” said Sulyman.

    He added, however, that effective communication links at 60 GHz are possible at distances up to 134 meters indoors, and up to 110 meters outdoors, even in hilly, dense urban areas — particularly if antennas are pointed toward each other.

    “Engineers can always work around problems if they understand them properly,” said Sulyman, a Senior Member of IEEE, the world’s largest technical professional organization. “Once we understand the exact nature of solar radio interference on 5G networks, we can plan for it by optimizing links for day-time and night-time operations.”

    He noted that satellite televisions work well during the day and at night because planners offset any transmission degradation so seamlessly that consumers never know the difference.

    First-generation cellular systems were introduced in 1982, and each subsequent generation of the technology has tended to require about 10 years of development. Rollout of 5G wireless digital systems could happen in the 2020s or sooner, Sulyman said. New 5G standards should be developed in 2019, during the World Radiocommunication Conference.

    If 5G systems could make use of extremely high-frequency radio waves — characterized by millimeter-length bands (30- to 300 GHz) — users would benefit from much faster data-access speeds and “nomadic” service that functions much like Wi-Fi, untethered from transmission towers.

    As a cost-saving measure, telecommunications developers have been looking at transmissions in the unlicensed 5 GHz and 60 GHz bands. Transmissions in this range would provide cellular operators with an appealing business option in areas not profitable enough to justify more expensive licensed bands.

    Currently, most 4G LTE networks make it possible to download a full-length high-definition movie in about five to ten minutes. Future 5G technology would offer much higher speeds.

  7. Tomi Engdahl says:

    3GPP has told its Twitter account that it has completed its first 5G radio standard in Portugal, Lisbon. The decision was born faster than expected. Now, the industry is ready to launch the first 5G baseband circuits right next summer.

    The development of the 5G NR radio (5G New Radio) has been answered by the 3GPP RAN1 Committee. According to the organization, at least 800 developers have participated in each meeting with 3000 proposals. It is a remarkable achievement that companies and other players have now reached an agreement on 5G radio.

    The 5G networks are set to big requirements. They will cover a wide spectrum of 600-700 megahertes up to millimeter waves. The data in the networks should be able to be transmitted up to a dozen gigabit speeds and only one millisecond delay.

    Originally, the 5G radio standard had to be completed in March. However, the 3GPP organization was particularly pressured by American operators. The organization is announcing the agreed standard in the coming days.

    Source: http://www.etn.fi/index.php/13-news/7347-5g-radiostandardi-saatiin-valmiiksi

  8. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Monica Alleven / FierceWireless:
    3GPP, the organization that governs cellular standards, signs off on the first specification for 5G, dubbed 5G NR; full details coming later this week — As expected, members of the 3GPP ratified the Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G New Radio (NR) specification for what will form the basis of commercial 5G products …

    3GPP declares first 5G NR spec complete

    As expected, members of the 3GPP ratified the Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G New Radio (NR) specification for what will form the basis of commercial 5G products, capping off months of meetings and work to get consensus.

    The specifications reportedly cover support for low-, mid- and high-band spectrum, from below 1 GHz, like 600 and 700 MHz, all the way up to around 50 GHz, and include the 3.5 GHz band.

    The Standalone (SA) version is due for completion in June 2018, defining the full user and control plane capability for 5G NR using the new 5G core network architecture also being done in 3GPP. Both the NSA and SA versions share physical radio air interface aspects.

    At a plenary meeting in Japan in September, the decision was made to put some study items on hold in order to meet the December deadline, but those items are due to be dealt with in the first half of 2018,

    Some of the items left on the drawing table are nonorthogonal multiple access, unlicensed spectrum for NR, nonterrestrial network (channel modeling), eV2X evaluation methodology, and integrated access and backhaul.

  9. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Realizing 5G New Radio massive MIMO systems

    Massive MIMO, which depends on using a large array of antennas, is the keystone technology for realizing the improvement necessary to justify the evolution from 4G to 5G wireless networks.

    Fifth generation (5G) wireless access networks are being defined to meet the perpetual growth in demand for capacity and address new use cases and applications in 2020 and beyond. 5G New Radio (NR) targets up to 10Gbps peak data rates per user to offer enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) services, which represents roughly 100× improvement over 4G networks.

    Massive MIMO is a primary means of accomplishing this. The technology is particularly well suited for underutilized TDD (time division duplex) bands below 6 GHz, such as band 40 (2.3 GHz), band 41 (2.5 GHz), band 42 (3.5 GHz), and band 43 (3.7 GHz), many of the unlicensed bands set aside for wireless communications, along with other bands that will be newly allocated for commercial wireless networks.

    Massive MIMO is important for enabling dynamic digital beamforming to implement user-by-user beams to theoretically offer full cell capacity to each user, which otherwise is shared amongst users on a time and frequency basis. There is no change required in the existing user equipment to benefit from massive-MIMO-enabled cell towers.

    The promise of massive MIMO is so appealing that many of the operators do not want to wait for the completion of 5G NR standards and are considering its deployment on 4G equipment. However, these benefits come with a set of challenges.

    Massive MIMO and beamforming
    Beamforming is not a new concept and has been around in the cellular market as active antenna systems (AAS) that use static beamforming in the radio as a tradeoff to contain the system cost and complexity. AAS are applicable in coverage limited networks, but today’s congested networks need dynamic digital beamforming to get the maximum possible spectral efficiency improvements.

    Massive MIMO with full digital beamforming adds a spatial dimension to frequency and time dimensions to significantly boost spectral efficiency.


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