The wireless industry has a history of marketing the next “G” before it’s actually fully baked and matched up to the official standards. Now the standards group 3GPP says a new 5G logo is designed to help the industry identify at which point in time 5G features will appear.
The new logo, unveiled this week, will be used on 3GPP 5G specifications from Release 15 onward.
“It will be used on the relevant 5G Phase 1 specifications in Release 15 (Complete by late 2018) and then the 5G Phase 2, Release 16 specifications—for completion in 2020,” the group said on its website. “It will also be used for releases beyond, as it is probable that 5G will span a series of releases, as was the case with LTE, which started with Release 8—continuing beyond Release 14.”
For anyone concerned that the industry is ditching LTE too fast, 3GPP’s logo answers that: It has a new wave pattern, but it’s a development of the existing LTE waves, using the green of the LTE-Advanced Pro version. 3GPP explained that the idea is to keep a familiar design aspect with the use of plain black text and textured waves, but to make the logo stronger and sharper—ready for use on the new radio and next-generation core specifications for 5G. The Verge provided a side-by-side comparison here.
No doubt, vendors will be eager to use the logo on their products as soon as humanly possible.
Last year, Ericsson announced that it was commercializing the world’s first 5G New Radio (NR) for massive MIMO, with the first deployments to come in 2017. Earlier in the year, Nokia said it was the first to run 5G on a commercially-available base station.
Qualcomm Technologies announced at an event it hosted in Hong Kong in October that it was developing a 5G modem—the Snapdragon X50 5G—that OEMs and operators would be able to use as part of their early 5G trials and deployments at 28 GHz.