After two uncertain delays, 5gr17 freezing time finally settled.

At 09:09 p.m. Beijing time on December 7, 2020, 3GPP decided to further postpone the freezing time of the latest evolution version R17 of 5g for half a year, that is, to complete the freezing of the version agreement code in June 2022.

Despite the landing of boots, the reasons for the delay of 5gr17 freezing time and whether the delay will have any impact on the industry have also become more concerned.

Delayed by epidemic

In fact, the delay in the R17 freeze was entirely unexpected. Previously, Dr. Chen Peng, head of 3GPP standard team of China Telecom Research Institute, also publicly said that 5grel-17 standardization work had been officially launched in the second quarter of this year, and the freeze of standards was tentatively scheduled to be completed in September 2021, but there is a great possibility of delay.

3GPP official website has also pointed out in several statements that R17 standard freezing or will be further postponed.

What are the main reasons for the delay of freezing time of 5g R17?

On July 3, the release 16 specification was finalized at an online meeting. At that time, it also moved the schedule of the subsequent release 17 agreement to December 2021. Soon after, 3GPP said in its latest statement that release 17 faced the risk of further shelving due to the limitations of on-site meetings.

On September 21, 3GPP officials said that the “freeze” date of release 17 stage 3 would be postponed, and the specific decision on the postponement date would be considered in December. At that time, 3GPP will decide whether release 17 will be delayed for three months, six months or more.

In the statement, 3GPP also admitted that the freezing of 5gr17 standard is facing the risk of further shelving due to the restriction that the on-site meeting cannot be held due to the epidemic situation.

It is reported that, influenced by COVID-19, 3GPP cancelled all the offline meetings this year. The standardized meeting was changed from the original face-to-face meeting to e-mail conferencing, supplemented by telephone conference. Meanwhile, the content of the meeting was also reduced, and the overall work performance and promotion efficiency were all affected.

“In face-to-face meetings, representatives of various countries can discuss issues face to face. In electronic conference, it is difficult for representatives of different countries to discuss problems at the same time due to different time zones. Often one representative asks one question, and the other representative can give feedback only after 6-8 hours. Therefore, problems and opinions are often intertwined, which delays the progress of the standard. At the same time, due to the different network speeds and conditions in different countries, there are often dropped lines or unclear voice Dr. Chen Peng talked about the reasons for the delay in freezing R16 standard.

Thus, the main reason for the delay in the R17 standard freeze is similar to that of R16, which is mainly influenced by COVID-19.

In addition, in order not to affect the overall process of 5g, 3GPP devoted all its resources and efforts to the development of 5gr16, participated in 24-hour email and telephone discussions, and made every effort to promote relevant key topics, so as to ensure the smooth completion of 5grel-16 overall standard, which correspondingly delayed the formulation of R17, which should have been started in early 2020.

Limited impact on Industry

There is no doubt that 5g standard is constantly evolving. R16 focuses more on the enhancement of urllc, v2x, mobility enhancement, vertical network, etc., and further optimizes various performance indicators and improves the efficiency of existing functions on the basis of rel15. In the future, the functions of rel-17 will be further enhanced on the basis of rel-16.

Compared with R16 standard, R17 standard will more comprehensively cover vertical industry capabilities, further enhance basic capabilities such as edge computing and network slicing, and take into account issues such as user experience guarantee and business model. Recently, the “integration of space and earth” communication, including the use of satellite, UAV and other means to provide 5g connection, is likely to appear in 5gr17 standard.

In addition, some experts also pointed out that on the one hand, 5grel-17 focuses on the further enhancement of network and business capabilities based on the existing work of rel-16, including multi antenna technology, low delay and high reliability, industrial Internet, terminal energy saving, positioning and Internet of vehicles technology, etc.; on the other hand, it also puts forward some new business and capability requirements, including coverage enhancement, multicast, and emergency oriented communication Direct communication with commercial application terminals, multi SIM terminal optimization, etc.

It is not difficult to see that 5grel-17 plays a very important role. But at present, the standard time of 5gr17 is delayed. What negative impact will this have on the development of 5g and the whole industry? From the current point of view, there will not be too much negative impact.

On the one hand, after the freezing of R16 standard, 5g capability has become more comprehensive. No matter communication manufacturers, telecom operators, terminal manufacturers or application developers need to wait and see. Based on R16 version, they can upgrade from “usable” to “usable”.

On the other hand, due to the postponement of R17 standard, the industry has to put more energy into the deployment and improvement of 5g technology based on R16, which will play a more stable effect for the construction of 5g. Compared with the determination of R17 standard in a hurry, the delay of time can give 3GPP enough time to complete the standard formulation, which is undoubtedly good for the industry.

In a word, the freezing time of 5gr17 has been further delayed for half a year. Although it is a little regretful, it can be expected in the future.

Editor in charge: Tzh

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