GCF launches work item on 5G device certification

5G phones (pixabay)
GCF's work item marks the start of its formal participation in 5G. (Pixabay)

The Global Certification Forum has approved an “umbrella” work item it says will lay the foundation for the certification of 5G devices based on 3GPP Release 15.

The work item will cover options from both the Non-Stand Alone (NSA) Phase 1 & 2 and Stand Alone (SA) Phase 1 5G System modes of operation. 3GPP finalized the specifications for NSA back in December at its plenary meeting in Lisbon, Portugal.

According to the GCF, conformance testing of 5G within GCF will draw on test cases defined by 3GPP’s RAN5 Working Group. 

The new umbrella work item anticipates the development of multiple sub-work items to cover various areas for which conformance test cases are under development; such areas currently include radio reception, transmission and performance; radio resource management (RRM); positioning; radio access protocols; core network protocols and IMS protocols. 

“This work item is an important milestone for GCF, marking the start of our formal participation in 5G,” said Lars Nielsen, general manager of GCF, in a press release. “Building on the work of 3GPP, GCF’s focus will be on providing an effective and efficient certification scheme to support the commercial rollout of 5G devices and services worldwide.”

Qualcomm has said it expects to see 5G mobile smartphones commercially available in the first half of 2019

3GPP’s initial description of the 3GPP 5G solution officially has been sent to the ITU in accordance with the IMT-2020 submission and evaluation process, 3GPP announced in a tweet today (Jan. 24).

The editors of the initial “Description template of 3GPP 5G candidate for inclusion in IMT-2020,” Wu Yong of Huawei and Asbjorn Grovlen of Ericsson, have provided a summary of the technical characteristics of the 3GPP 5G solution. The summary is not complete and final, but it provides a good overview of the contents of 3GPP Release 15, December version, and will allow ITU-R and Independent Evaluation Groups to better understand the technology and to start their ITU-R evaluation process, according to a 3GPP blog post.

The industry agreed last year to accelerate the timeline so that the NSA version of the 5G standards work would be complete by the end of last year rather than having it all come due this summer. The SA version is due for completion in June 2018, defining the full user and control plane capability for 5G NR using the new 5G core network architecture also being done in 3GPP. Both the NSA and SA versions share physical radio air interface aspects. 

At a plenary meeting in Japan in September, the decision was made to put some study items on hold in order to meet the December deadline, but those items are due to be dealt with in the first half of this year.