The Evolution of 5G New Radio Positioning Technologies

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  • Author: Ryan Keating, Amitava Ghosh, Benny Vejlgaard, Diomidis Michalopoulos & Mikko Säily

The evolution of 5G New Radio (NR) shows that positioning services are becoming important components of current and future cellular networks. From providing emergency services with device locations to tracking automated forklifts on a factory floor, the use cases for 5G NR technology continue to be enhanced through the release of 3GPP specifications. Horizontal and vertical accuracy is an important focus in Releases 16 through 18, with latency and reliability becoming important for many Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) use cases in the future.

This paper looks at a wide diversity of anticipated use cases and scenarios, and the technology features expected to be introduced to meet the positioning requirements.While Release 16 already introduced six radio access technology (RAT)-dependent techniques to enable precise positioning, Release 17 will continue to work on improved accuracy, lower latency, positioning integrity, and device and network efficiency. Further enhancements and expansions of NR positioning will take place with positioning and location awareness as core features of future releases of the specifications.

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