5G Americas White Paper Outlines 3GPP Release 13 to Release 15 and Beyond

5G Americas, the industry trade association and voice of 5G and LTE for the Americas has released a new white paper that outlines the impact of major progress and evolution of LTE technology and the developing 5G standards in current world scenario. The publication, Wireless Technology Evolution Towards 5G: 3GPP Release 13 to Release 15 and Beyond highlights the fact that the U.S. alone is approaching 90 percent penetration of LTE and that the stage is already being set for a new technology frontier with the advent of 5G wireless technologies.

3GPP's work of standardizing the technologies driving the largest mobile wireless ecosystems from GSM to LTE and now to 5G created the backbone for this whitepaper by 5G Americas. LTE is expected to be the dominant mobile wireless technology in the next decade with LTE-Advanced Pro in Rel-13 completed in 2016. The 5G Americas white paper provides a detailed discussion on the key feature enhancements that were included in 3GPP Rel-13, such as:

  • Enhancements to support Active Antennas Systems (AAS)
  • Licensed Assisted Access (LAA)
  • Aggregation of LTE and WLAN (LWA and LWIP)
  • Low power / wide area coverage for IoT applications through Cellular-IoT
  • Enhancements to previously introduced LTE technologies
    • Advanced Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antennas
    • Self-Organizing Networks (SON)
    • Carrier Aggregation (CA) and Dual Connectivity (DC)
    • Proximity Services and Device-to-Device Communication for Public Safety (ProSe/D2D)

The white paper also provides a detailed discussion of the LTE enhancements being worked on as part of Rel-14 including further MIMO enhancements, CA enhancements, enhanced LAA (eLAA), enhanced LWA (eLWA), Voice over LTE (VoLTE) enhancements and enhancements to ProSe/D2D. Rel-14 and Rel-15 represent the first phase of work in 3GPP towards 5G standards with Rel-14 focused on the study items towards 5G and Rel-15 on the first phase of normative specifications for 5G. 3GPP also agreed that Rel-14 and Rel-15 will introduce a New Radio (NR) access technology for 5G that will be flexible enough to support not only frequency bands below 6 GHz but also mmWave bands up to 100 GHz. The 5G Americas whitepaper provides details on 3GPP Rel-14 studies of the New Radio access technology, including Channel Modeling, RAN requirements, RAN technologies and potential solutions that meet a broad range of use cases. The RAN study item identifies typical deployment scenarios for next generation access technologies and the required performance and main functional capabilities like:

  • A range of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and their target requirements
  • Several target deployment scenarios, covering enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC), massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC), and also enhanced Vehicle to Everything (eV2X)
  • Other requirements, e.g., covering architecture, services and operation

The studies, explained in the whitepaper, focus on four main RAN specification areas: 1) Physical layer aspects; 2) Radio interface protocols and procedures; 3) Radio Network architecture, interfaces and protocols/procedures; and 4) Radio Frequency (RF) and performance requirements. At the service requirements level, the 3GPP studies include over 70 use cases for new opportunities in the next generation of telecommunications systems.

The IMT-2020 process is in part driving the work in 3GPP to define a 5G technology which consists of a two-phased approach with Phase I focusing on 5G New Radio and Next Generation System Architecture studies (Rel-14) and normative specifications (Rel-15) by 2018, and Phase II including everything needed to meet IMT-2020 requirements in Rel-16 by the end of 2019.

Click here to download the White Paper.