Samsung Electronics announced that it is the lucky host of the 3GPP working groups’ meeting to complete 5G standards in Busan, South Korea, this week. The meeting, which runs May 21-25, is intended to finalize the relevant standard technologies for 5G commercialization.
Of course, it’s not the end of 5G standardization work. Official approval of the 5G phase 1 standard is scheduled for next month, and there's still a lot more work to be done beyond that. But as Samsung points out, the Busan meeting represents a major milestone in the path to 5G commercialization and it’s where finalization work on the 5G Standalone (SA) standard will occur.
About 1,500 standards experts from chipset, handset and infrastructure vendors will attend, among them being Samsung (of course), Qualcomm (of course), as well as operators like Verizon, AT&T, NTT DoCoMo, KT and SK Telecom.
All working groups (RAN working groups 1 to 5) that develop 5G wireless technology will be assembled at the conference to confirm technologies for 5G, including ultra-high speed data and ultra-low latency and the conformance testing methods for 5G terminals.
The RAN4 working group, chaired by Samsung, will decide the radio performance requirements for 5G terminals and base stations including the 3.5 GHz and 28 GHz bands, the company said. This requirement will inform the radio regulations, which will be key in the deployment of a 5G spectrum when 5G commercialization starts in earnest in Korea, the U.S. and Japan.
In December 2017, just days before Christmas, 3GPP ratified the Non-Standalone (NSA) 5G New Radio (NR) specification for what would form the basis of commercial 5G products. The NSA version uses the existing LTE radio and core network as an anchor, while the Standalone version uses a new 5G core network architecture.
AT&T, which has been a stickler about launching a standards-based version of 5G when it goes commercial, acknowledged that it will use a prestandard version of the 5G NR Standalone configuration when it teams up to stream 4K video at the 2018 U.S. Open Championship golf tournament next month, the same month the 3GPP is expected to ratify that part of the standard.
Last week, Verizon said the 5G fixed wireless networks it launches this year may incorporate standards-based as well as pre-standard equipment. Initially, Verizon said its first 5G networks would use the pre-standard version of 5G it developed through its 5G Technology Forum, before the 3GPP 5G standard was set. Now the carrier is saying that this year's 5G launch may not rely entirely on pre-standard 5G, but could also incorporate standards-compliant 5G equipment.