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Cover Story

The path to 5G: as much evolution as revolution

May 10, 2016

The following article considers the path to 5G - concluding that the new radio from 3GPP will initially embrace LTE as the anchor technology - prior to the industry moving to full blown 5G. 

A personal view - by Keith Mallinson - for 3GPP:

The introduction of 5G will be as much the result of relentless and extensive improvements in LTE as it is a technology revolution. While the prospect of a next generation network opens up possibilities for quite dramatic changes, such as an entirely new air interface (i.e. other than OFDMA-based) or fixed transport layer (e.g. based on Information Centric Networking (ICN) rather than IP), it also prompts development of numerous incremental improvements. Many of these are already in the pipeline for development, standardisation and deployment.

Whether one calls it 4.5G, pre5G or uses the official 3GPP term LTE-Advanced Pro; standard-compliant LTE technology that builds upon current and completed 3GPP Releases (8-14), along with the first drop of New Radio air interface features with Release 15 in 2018, will form 5G in its Phase 1 deployments commencing 2020. Compliance with ITU’s IMT-2020 requirements is not anticipated until the completion of 3GPP Release 16 at the end of 2019.

Recent News

Telecoms and the Smart City

May 24, 2016

3GPP Partner - GSA - have published a new report “The Central Role of Telecoms in The Smart City”.

The report focuses on the relationship between city authorities and the ICT industry as both address the potential of ‘big data’ and the internet of things (IoT), looking in particular at the impact that they will have on procurement processes.

“The Central Role of Telecoms in The Smart City” also studies the reasons why cities adopt a smart approach - for transportation needs, to make power savings, for water and waste services, to achieve environmental & political goals, etc. - Identifying the emergence of new technologies, including many being studied in 3GPP, that can make smart city infrastructure both desirable and affordable.
 
The publication of the paper is timely, as a contribution to the discussion on how 3GPP needs to meet the needs of big data, as more sectors - from intelligent transport to energy efficiency, from existing cityscapes to green field planning - will want a slice of what 5G and LTE-Advanced Pro can deliver.
 

3GPP in India for PCG/OP Meetings

May 4, 2016

The two management meetings of 3GPP - the Project Coordination Group (PCG) and the Organizational Partners (OP) meeting - have ratified some important decisions last week in New Delhi, hosted by the TSDSI - the Indian SDO.

Discussions on how to improve the organization and coordination of work among the 3GPP groups were fruitful, with general agreement on the best way to support the increased demand for meetings during the current Release and in the future - as we begin normative work on 3GPP 5G.

In addition, some specific topics of interest were addressed:


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