The recently plenary meeting of the 3GPP Technical Specifications Groups has agreed on a detailed workplan for Release-15, the first release of 5G specifications.
The plan includes a set of intermediate tasks and check-points (see graphic below) to guide the ongoing studies in the Working Groups. These will get 3GPP in a position to make the next major round of workplan decisions when transitioning from the ongoing studies to the normative phase of the work in December 2016:- the start of SA2 normative work on Next Generation (NexGen) architecture and in March 2017:- the beginning of the RAN Working Group’s specification of the 5G New Radio (NR).
3GPP TSG RAN further agreed that the target NR scope for Release 15 includes support of the following:
Standalone and Non-Standalone NR operation (with work for both starting in conjunction and running together)
Non-standalone NR in this context implies using LTE as control plane anchor. Standalone NR implies full control plane capability for NR.
Some potential architecture configuration options are shown in RP-161266 for information and will be analyzed further during the study
Target usecases: Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), as well as Low Latency and High Reliability to enable some Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLCC) usecases
Frequency ranges below 6GHz and above 6GHz
NB: Detailed target content subject to eventual study conclusions and agreed Work Item scope.
During the discussion the importance of forward compatibility - in both radio and protocol design - was stressed, as this will be key for phasing-in the necessary features, enabling all identified usecases, in subsequent releases of the 5G specification.
“We now have a more concrete plan to guide the studies in the Working Groups and to put us in the position to address both short term and long term opportunities of 5G” Dino Flore, Chairman of 3GPP TSG RAN, said.
“3GPP continues to actively coordinate radio access NR and Next Generation system level work to standardize target services on schedule” added Erik Guttman, Chairman of 3GPP TSG SA.
The latest agreed requirements and deployment scenarios for NR can be found in TR 38.913.
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