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3GPP 5G Standards Development is in Full Swing

October 19, 2016 By Molly White in

5G Americas recently published an executive summary outlining many of the foundation-level innovations that have been incorporated in 3rd Generation Partnership Project’s (3GPP) evolving 5G standards.

Entitled ¨Inside 3GPP Release 13 – Understanding the Standards for LTE Advanced Enhancements,” the technical specifications help establish and set the foundation for next-generation wireless network infrastructure, services and applications worldwide. An update of 3GPP Release 13, the document outlines features of 5G networking that 3GPP has completed but which weren’t available in June when 5G Americas released its ¨Mobile Broadband Evolution Towards 5G: 3GPP Release 12 & Release 13.”

“3GPP Release 13 is just a peek behind the curtain for the unveiling of future innovations for LTE that will parallel the technical work at 3GPP on 5G. Both LTE and 5G will work together to form our connected future,” Jim Seymour, principal engineer for Cisco’s Mobility CTO Group commented in a press release.

5G Standards

Among other things, Release 13 standards for LTE-Advanced include:

  • Active Antenna Systems (AAS), including beamforming, Multi-Input Multi-Output (MIMO) and Self-Organizing Network (SON) aspects
  • Enhanced signaling to support inter-site Coordinated Multi-Point Transmission and Reception (CoMP)
  • Carrier Aggregation (CA) enhancements to support up to 32 component carriers
  • Dual Connectivity (DC) enhancements to better support multi-vendor deployments with improved traffic steering
  • Improvements in Radio Access Network (RAN) sharing
  • Enhancements to Machine Type Communication (MTC)
  • Enhanced Proximity Services (ProSe)

“LTE is not a yesterday story. It is a technology for today and tomorrow,” 5G Americas’ President Chris Pearson pointed out. ¨LTE to LTE-Advanced Pro provides transformational innovation and will be the mobile broadband foundation for the next generation of wireless technology.”

Other new 5G standards included in Release 13 pertain to spectrum efficiency, including:

  • Licensed Assisted Access for LTE (LAA) in which LTE can be deployed in unlicensed spectrum
  • LTE Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) Aggregation (LWA) where Wi-Fi can now be supported by a radio bearer and aggregated with an LTE radio bearer
  • Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) where lower power wider coverage LTE carriers have been designed to support IoT applications
  • Downlink (DL) Multi-User Superposition Transmission (MUST) which is a new concept for transmitting more than one data layer to multiple users without time, frequency or spatial separation.