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The first 5G spec just got approved - here's what that actually means
24 December 2017, 12:48 | Vera Richards
The excessive competition to take a leadership in 5G between SK Telecom and KT is giving rise to confusion only
"Reaching this milestone enables the next phase of equipment availability and movement to interoperability testing and early 5G availability", said AT&T, one of T-Mobile's big rivals in introducing 5G to the USA market.
KT said that the company greatly contributed to advancing the establishment of the non-standalone (NSA)-based 5G standard approved by the 3GPP and developing the standard. The specification for the non-standalone 5G NR (new radio) standard will now form the basis of commercial 5G products by vendors like Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, LG and Qualcomm among others. A few moments later, Sprint published a Press releaseannouncing how they are going to bring 5G to the world.
The specification refers to 5G NR, for "New Radio" - essentially 5G networking's equivalent to 4G "LTE".
The introduction of an intermediate standard on the way to 5G was decided in March this year, as a way to accelerate the roll-out of the next mobile network generation. These layers have been standardized in the first specifications as the building blocks of 5G NR.
The 3GPP is a group of telecommunications organisations whose job it is to oversee cellular standards.
"Verizon is delighted that the 3GPP is moving quickly to release a global standard for mobile 5G", said Ed Chan, the company's Chief Technology Architect and Network Planning.
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The development will help the global mobile industry to initiate full-scale development of 5G NR for large-scale trials and commercial deployment as early as in 2019, according to telecom bodies and smartphone makers. "This timely finalization of NSA is one important step on that journey and in the development of the 5G ecosystem".
The specifications reportedly cover support for low-, mid- and high-band spectrum, from below 1 GHz, like 600 and 700 MHz, all the way up to around 50 GHz, and include the 3.5 GHz band. "KT has actively participated in the standardization of 3GPP 5G through the submission of hundreds of exclusive technical contributions and hundreds of joint contributions".
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