The completion of the standalone (SA) Release 15 5G specifications has been approved by the 3GPP TSG #80 Plenary Meeting. After the release of the 5G NR specifications for non-standalone (NSA) operation in December 2017, another essential step of standardisation of 5G has been successfully completed.
Now, the whole industry is taking the final sprint towards 5G commercialisation. 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 makes 5G a facilitator and an accelerator during the intelligent information and communications technology improvement process of enterprise customers and vertical industries. New business models will be enabled and a new era where everything is interconnected will be opened up for both mobile operators and industrial partners.
Balazs Bertenyi, Chairman of 3GPP TSG RAN, said: "The freeze of Standalone 5G NR radio specifications represents a major milestone in the quest of the wireless industry towards realising 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 revolutionise their ecosystem through 5G."
Erik Guttman, also a Chairman of 3GPP TSG SA, added: "The 5G System specification has now reached its official stage of completion, thanks to the intense efforts of hundreds of engineers over the past three years. The 5G System opens the way for commercialisation of services based on the New Radio and 5G Core Network and their advanced extensible capabilities. The new system provides the foundation for ongoing specialisation for support of new business sectors, for unlike 4G and past generations, 5G supports the very specific requirements and individual service characteristics of diverse communications. Already, 3GPP activities have begun to leverage the 5G system to realise opportunities in areas such as industrial automation."
Another Chairman of 3GPP TSG CT, Georg Mayer, also commented: "Two years ago, 5G was seen as a vision or even just a hype - with the closing of Rel-15 3GPP has made 5G a reality within a very short time. The outcome is an amazing set of standards that will not only provide higher data rates and bandwidth to end customers but which is open and flexible enough to satisfy the communication needs of different industries - 5G will be the integration platform for heterogeneous businesses. Rel-15 only marks the first step of the 5G story and 3GPP will further develop it into the future, aligning it to the needs of customers and industries."