In July 2020, the international standards organization 3GPP announced the freeze of R16 standard, marking the completion of the first evolved version of 5g standard. Although it is “expected” news, the whole communication industry is still excited about it. After two extensions, why did the late R16 standard attract the attention of the industry? What does the freeze of R16 standard mean and how will it boost 5g to further “accelerate”? What efforts have the Chinese legion, including China Unicom, made? With this series of questions, reporters from all media in the communication world exclusively interviewed Li Fuchang, deputy director of wireless technology research department of China Unicom Network Technology Research Institute. Let’s learn more about this event from the perspective of industry experts.

In the 5g era, at the beginning of the formulation of network standards, it is proposed to be compatible with the flexible and scalable design concept of potential applications in the future, fully support the three application scenarios, take into account factors such as cost, efficiency and efficiency, so as to give greater benefits to the investment in communication infrastructure and further help the digital transformation of social economy. The changes of network standardization in 5g era also put forward new requirements for operators. In Li Fuchang’s opinion: “for operators, they need to quickly promote network construction and build 5g high-quality network. They should not only pay attention to the construction of 5g mobile communication infrastructure, but also actively expand various 5g application services, promote the maturity of 5g ecological industrial chain, promote 5g opening and cooperation, and effectively make 5g serve economic and social development.”

The freeze of R16 standard will further enhance the performance and competitiveness of 5g network

What impact will the freeze of R16 standard bring to 5g and the development of the industry? Li Fuchang told reporters: “the freezing of R16 standard has further enhanced the performance and competitiveness of 5g network, will bring users a better business experience, improve efficiency from the perspective of network operation, reduce operating costs, support a wider range of vertical industry applications, and expand the ecology of 5g.”

Specifically, R16 has been significantly enhanced on urllc. Firstly, from the application scenarios supported, it supports industrial Internet and automatic control, smart grid, remote driving and other remote control applications; Secondly, the low delay and high reliability are enhanced in terms of functionality. The one-way delay of air interface is less than 1ms, and the reliability reaches 99.9999%; Thirdly, in terms of support for industrial Internet, it supports the integration of 5g and industrial Ethernet and the flexible transformation of industrial production line; Finally, the performance of end-to-end urllc service is guaranteed through network slice enhancement and other technologies.

In terms of millimeter wave, R16 enhances the function of millimeter wave beam and multi node transmission, supports millimeter wave and medium band carrier aggregation, and also introduces the integrated access backhaul (IAB) scheme, which can effectively improve the disadvantage of insufficient millimeter wave coverage and provide more convenience for millimeter wave deployment.

In terms of 5g license free spectrum, 5g available spectrum resources are expanded. The terminal can access in unauthorized frequency bands and make full use of all spectrum resources, which is comparable to WiFi.

The most basic and core standard of 5g has been completed

According to the law of 10-year generation of communication system, and referring to the time span of 8 versions of LTE from R8 to R15 and 2 versions and 4 years of 5g from R15 to R16, Li Fuchang believes that the overall completion degree of 5g standard is about 30%. At the same time, Li Fuchang stressed: “the completed standards are the most basic and core content of 5g, with embB service capability and most vertical industry application capabilities, which has laid the foundation for large-scale deployment of 5g in the future.” In addition, the standard work to be completed mainly includes the Internet of things based on 5g air interface, 5g intelligent enhancement to further improve 5g operation efficiency, and further function enhancement for vertical industries. The main reason why it has not been completed is that the time of each version is limited, and the demand for 5g in the initial vertical industry is not clear. In addition, the Internet of things based on 5g air interface needs to be different from the commercial market and service objects of Nb IOT / EMTC to avoid repeated investment. The Internet of things based on 5g air interface can be more clearly defined through the design of target rate, mobility support and other dimensions.

Li Fuchang also expressed his views on whether the postponement of R16 freezing time will also postpone R17 freezing time, which is widely concerned in the industry, He said: “The delay of R16 freeze time will affect R17 freeze time to a certain extent, but it has little impact on the global 5g commercial deployment. At present, it is only delayed for one quarter, while the global 5g commercial network is still in the early stage of deployment, the demand of vertical industry is still in the embryonic stage, network operation and optimization still need to be accumulated, and it needs to catalyze the demand to expand business to vertical industry It takes time, so the delay of the standard freeze has a very limited impact on industrialization and commercial deployment. ” At the same time, the industry has actively invested in the standard work and continued to ensure the investment in the standard work through online meetings and e-mail communication, so as to reduce the impact of the epidemic on the progress of the standard.

China Unicom contributes to R16 standardization

According to Li Fuchang, China Unicom actively participated in R16 standardization and achieved a series of beneficial results in the process, making great contributions to the formulation of standards. Specifically, China Unicom submitted more than 1000 technical proposals and led the formulation of six technical standards, including NR 2.1GHz large bandwidth, voice service continuity from 5g to 3G, fdd-tdd dual connection high-power terminal, 4G and 5g base station consistency architecture evolution, etc. Among them, the project of 2.1GHz large bandwidth leads the development of 5g co construction and sharing global industrial chain; The high-power terminal makes up for the 5g uplink coverage short board and completes the high-power terminal involving FDD band for the first time.

At the same time, Li Fuchang also affirmed the important role played by the “Chinese Legion” in the formulation of R16 standards. “The three major operators, Huawei, ZTE, Datang, MediaTek, vivo, oppo, Spreadtrum and other companies have all played an important role in the formulation of R16 standards, including leading a number of standard projects, acting as the project Rapporteur, and playing an important role in organization and coordination in the specific discussion of standards, which has greatly improved the voice and influence of Chinese enterprises in the formulation of international standards.”

Just after the first half of 2020, the horn of progress was sounded in the second half. There is no doubt that the freeze of R16 standard will become another milestone in the development of 5g. On the way of 5g development in the future, the legions of China’s communication industry roll up their sleeves and come on!

Editor in charge: PJ

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