While the world continues to adjust to 4G technology, the communications industry is pushing forward with the next latest-and-greatest development: 5G networking. The tech will be faster and consume less power than 4G, making it well-suited to IoT rollouts. However, a standard hasn't existed until now.
3GPP, the industry standards body, has just ratified a significant part of the new 5G standard, half a year earlier than expected.
The specifications for the non-standalone 5G NR (new radio) standard will be published before the end of the year and are what vendors like LG, Qualcomm and AT&T will use to build networking equipment using the technology.
It was those vendors' desire to press forward with 5G that accelerated the timeline. 3GPP had originally set summer 2018 as their ratification target, but due to pressure they revised their deadline to December.
Dave Wolter, AVP of radio technology and strategy at AT&T Labs, told FierceWireless: "It was extremely aggressive and people put in an awful lot of extra time and effort and it looks like we've made it. We believe we're at a point where silicon manufacturers can begin their designs and start developing silicon."
FierceWireless reports that the new standard covers support for low-, mid- and high-band spectrum, from sub-1GHz to around 50GHz.
Some parts of the standard have been put on hold, and will be worked on after the Christmas period; and there is also the Standalone version of 5G NR, which is still scheduled for completion in June 2018. The SA version defines the full user and control plane capabilities for 5G NR using the new core network architecture.
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