Stand-Alone 5G Specs Completed at 3GPP Meeting
Monday, June 18, 2018 | Comments

The stand-alone (SA) Release 15 5G specifications were completed at the most recent Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) meetings in La Jolla, California, USA. The stand-alone standards follow the release of the 5G new radio (NR) specifications for non-stand-alone (NSA) operation in December 2017.

Non-stand-alone 5G NR will use the existing Long Term Evolution (LTE) core network as an anchor for mobility management and coverage, while 5G NR channels are used to increase data rates and take advantage of the reduced latency defined in the specifications. The stand-alone specification will enable stand-alone 5G NR with user and control plane using the 5G next-generation core network (5G NGC), also being defined in 3GPP.

The completion of SA specifications, which complements the NSA specifications, not only gives 5G NR the ability of independent deployment but also brings a new end-to-end network architecture, making 5G a facilitator and an accelerator during the intelligent information and communications technology (ICT) improvement process of enterprise customers and vertical industries. A statement said the new specifications will enable new business models and a new era where everything is interconnected.

More than 600 delegates from the world's major telecom operators, network, terminals and chipset vendors, internet companies and other vertical industry companies participated in the event.

“The freeze of stand-alone 5G NR specifications represents a major milestone in the quest of the wireless industry towards realizing the holistic 5G vision,” said Balázs Bertényi, chairman of 3GPP Technical Specification Group (TSG) radio access network (RAN). “5G NR stand-alone systems not only dramatically increase the mobile broadband speeds and capacity but also open the door for new industries beyond telecommunications that are looking to revolutionize their ecosystem through 5G.”

Erik Guttman, chairman of 3GPP TSG systems aspect (SA), said 5G promises a broad expansion of telecommunications. The 5G system opens the way for commercialization of services based on the NR and 5G core network and their advanced extensible capabilities. The new system provides the foundation for ongoing specialization for support of new business sectors because unlike 4G and past generations, 5G supports the very specific requirements and individual service characteristics of diverse communications. 3GPP activities have begun to leverage the 5G system to realize opportunities in areas such as industrial automation.

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