5G is a little bit closer to being the real deal.
We keep hearing about the impending launch of 5G, but the reality is that the reported 2019 launch is still quite far away. In the meantime, work continues behind the scenes to ensure that, when carriers and phone manufacturers are ready to roll it out, they know exactly what they’re working with.
To that end, a 5G milestone was hit today at the 3GPP RAN Plenary meeting in Lisbon, Portugal where all the companies involved in creating mobile standards get together and party soberly discuss the future of our mobile universe. While the so-called 5G NR (New Radio) standard was already formed, today’s meeting — largely led by Qualcomm, which has been pushing to accelerate the rollout of 5G — finalized it, putting a line in the sand on what it deems Non-Standalone 5G NR, which will rely on existing LTE core networks to function.
NSA 5G NR specs were approved today at RAN#78. Balazs Bertenyi , RAN Chair called it “an Impressive achievement in a remarkably short time, with credit due particularly to the Working Groups”. News article to follow on the 3GPP site and from 3GPP Member announcements. pic.twitter.com/b10fTV5V5n
— 3GPP Live (@3GPPLive) December 20, 2017
NSA 5G will be the wireless standard’s initial form when it launches in 2019, leveraging mature LTE networks for much of the backbone and utilizing sub-6GHz 5G for additional capacity where necessary. Because 5G’s initial focus will be on facilitating enormous amounts of data backhaul, NSA 5G omits calling and other aspects of the 3G and 4G LTE spec we take for granted today.
Standalone 5G (SA), which the 3GPP expects to finalize by next summer, will eventually be the replacement for 4G LTE, though according to Qualcomm, “NSA and SA 5G NR will share common physical