This article was authored by Dylan Bushell-Embling, and was originally posted on telecomasia.net.
A group of major operators and vendors have joined forces to support the acceleration of the standardization of 5G new radio (NR) technology.
As announced during Mobile World Congress 2017, NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom, Vodafone, Telstra, Korea Telecom, LG Uplus, KDDI have teamed up with European operators and vendors to announce their support for a proposal to be raised at the next 3GPP RAN Plenary Meeting in March.
The companies will propose introducing an intermediate standardization stage that would allow for large-scale trials and deployments of 5G NR technology starting in 2019, instead of 2020 as currently scheduled.
The group will also seek to make forward compatibility a key design principal for the proposed first-release standardization.
"We are pretty encouraged by the increasing voices heard within the telecom industry that the process of New Radio Specification should be expedited," KT SVP for network strategy YongGyoo Lee commented.
“I am sure that the whole industry will enjoy the benefits from quick introduction of 5G into the market, enabled by the acceleration of 5G NR Specification in 3GPP."
"For rapid commercialization of 5G, forming an ecosystem by global harmonization including frequency bands and specifications is even more crucial than in the previous generations,” added KDDI managing executive officer for technology Yoshiaki Uchida.
“KDDI is targeting to start 5G services in 2020, which mandates early completion of NR specification. We sincerely hope the acceleration of related 3GPP activities."
Vendors agreeing to support the proposal include Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, Intel, Qualcomm, handset maker Vivo and LG Electronics. Other operators include AT&T, BT, Telia, Swisscom, TIM, Etisalat, Sprint and Deutsche Telekom.