Will reality live up to the promise? Who knows. But one thing is for sure, 5G is now an actual thing after 3GPP approved the initial 5G New Radio (NR) specifications in Lisbon.
The completion of the first 5G NR standard has set the stage for the global mobile industry to start full-scale development of 5G NR for large-scale trials and commercial deployments as early as in 2019. Many of the operators have been rushing to be the first to hit pre-5G milestones, now we have standards-based 5G, a new race begins.
The news of the completion of the standard was released by the NSA 5G NR working group over Twitter, though the team have promised more details once the event in Lisbon has finished on Friday.
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
As you can imagine, almost everyone in the telco industry will have something to say about this milestone, so try to keep you head above the PR waves here.
“Reaching this milestone enables the next phase of equipment availability and movement to interoperability testing and early 5G availability,” said Hank Kafka, VP Access Architecture and Analytics at AT&T. “It showcases the dedication and leadership of the industry participants in 3GPP to follow through on accelerating standards to allow for faster technology deployments.”
“The first version of 5G NR not only provides a NSA solution for 5G deployment but also completes the common part of NSA and SA, which lay a solid foundation for a global unified 5G system with global market scale,” said said Zhengmao Li, EVP of China Mobile Group. “We believe the next important milestone that is SA standard providing end to end 5G new capability could be completed by June of 2018, which is very crucial to enable the operators to explore the enterprise and vertical markets.”
“We view both the Non-Standalone and Standalone modes of New Radio as equally important for the completeness of the 5G standard specification. This timely finalization of NSA is one important step on that journey and in the development of the 5G ecosystem,” said Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, CTO Deutsche Telekom. “It is crucial that the industry now redoubles its focus on the Standalone mode to achieve progress towards a full 5G system, so we can bring key 5G innovations such as network slicing to our customers.”
“This is an important moment and a crucial development toward making 5G NR happen,” said Neville Ray, CTO for T-Mobile US. “At T-Mobile, we’re committed to drive a 5G rollout across the US in 2020, and the efforts of 3GPP will help us to realize this great win for our customers.”
5G euphoria has lost a bit of steam over the last couple of months, but this is surely going to offer another boost of energy for as a new world of firsts prepares to dominate the headlines.