That’s right, 5G is coming and the first 5G spec has been set. The players involved in building out 5G networks now have the details they need to make 5G a reality for you and I.
3GPP, the group of telecommunications organizations that meet to define standards, met yesterday and approved the first 5G spec. It’s a whole bunch of technical stuff that I’d imagine only network engineers will ever understand, but know this – we don’t get to 5G without this happening.
By setting this first 5G spec, the 5G system architecture has now been defined, which means features, functionality, and services are understood by the players surrounding 5G. We’re talking about network slicing, interworking and migration from 4G, etc. Again, this is the super technical system stuff that you and I don’t really need to know, but companies like Samsung and Qualcomm and Verizon need to know well in order to bring 5G to our future smartphones.
For example, this is what AT&T said about this 5G spec being set:
“We’re proud to see the completion of this set of standards. 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.”
Samsung said this:
DJ Koh, President and Head of IT and Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics, said: “As a global leader in the mobile industry, Samsung has been collaborating with the whole industry to achieve this milestone in 5G standards. With the completion of 5G NSA NR standard, we will be able to expedite 5G commercial deployments including chipsets, devices and network equipment. Samsung will continue making every effort to deliver complete Rel-15 NR standards. Rel-15 NR and its further evolution will be a key milestone for the industry to meet the increasing global demand for enhanced mobile broadband services and exploring new business opportunities and services inspired by 5G.”
“We are excited to be part of this significant milestone, and to once again be at the forefront making the 5G vision a reality in 2019,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and president, QCT. “We look forward to continue working with our mobile industry peers to bring 5G NR commercial networks and devices in 2019 in smartphone and other form factors, for both sub-6Ghz and mmWave frequency bands, and to continue developing 5G technologies to connect new industries and enable new services and user experiences in the years to come.”
“This is an important moment and a crucial development toward making 5G NR happen,” said Neville Ray, Chief Technology Officer 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.”
“Verizon is delighted that the 3GPP is moving quickly to release a global standard for mobile 5G,” said Ed Chan, Chief Technology Architect and Network Planning. “With this important 3GPP milestone, Verizon is once again well positioned to deliver next-generation technology to customers just as we did with 4G LTE.”
We’re still looking at carriers to tell us when they’ll have 5G available. T-Mobile, for example, is expecting 5G rollout in 2020. Verizon thinks they’ll launch some 5G broadband as early as next year. So we’re getting there, but it’ll still be a while.