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3GPP Completes Standalone(SA) 5G NR Specifications

4 months ago
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3GPP Completes Standalone(SA) 5G NR Specifications Image Credit: Samsung

3GPP together with a large group of mobile operators, vendors and other industry bodies on Thursday announced the official approval for the standalone(SA) version of 5G standard, marking an important step towards the commercialization of mobile 5G.

This follows the Non-Standalone (NSA) version released in December last year which allows 5G deployment to leverage 4G LTE infrastructure for non-data functions such as communication with the cell towers and servers, with 5G-enabled handsets connecting to 5G frequencies only for data throughput. This saw 4G LTE becoming a base for the deployment of 5G services.  

The completion of SA specifications which complements the NSA specifications, not only gives 5G NR the ability of independent deployment, but also brings a brand new end-to-end network architecture. This provides a solid basis to introduce innovative new solutions based on reduced latency and Network Slicing which will bring the full benefits of 5G to our industrial customers, according to the announcement.

Alex Choi, SVP Research and Technology Innovation at Deutsche Telekom, wrote in a blog that, "With SA, we now look forward to continuing our cross-industry collaboration to accelerate the 5G ecosystem and solution development, and together with our vertical industry customers explore new business opportunities for automotive, energy, Industry 4.0 and other sectors."

Balazs Bertenyi, Chairman of 3GPP TSG RAN
The freeze of Standalone 5G NR radio specifications represents a major milestone in the quest of the wireless industry towards realizing the holistic 5G vision. 5G NR Standalone systems not only dramatically increase the mobile broadband speeds and capacity, but also open the door for new industries beyond telecommunications that are looking to revolutionize their ecosystem through 5G.

Enrico Bagnasco, Head of Technology Innovation, TIM
The timely delivery of Rel 15 is another big step forward in the adoption of 5G to expand the footprint of the current mobile network into new market segments. We at TIM are particularly proud to have contributed with the 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) family for this achievement. The availability of a full set of NSA and SA standards will open several options for the deployment of the new technology, boosting a new generation of devices.

Executive Editor of The Fast Mode | 5G | IoT/M2M | Telecom Strategy | Mobile Data Innovations 

Tara Neal covers stories on strategies and initiatives in the Digital Telco space, and anchors the 5G and IoT/M2M verticals on the publication. Tara holds a First Class Honours in BSc Accounting and Finance from The London School of Economics, UK and is a CFA charterholder from the CFA Institute, United States. Tara has over 20 years experience in technology and business strategy.

Follow her on Twitter @taraneal11, LinkedIn @taraneal11, Facebook or email her at [email protected].

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