Discussion Papers

No. 449: 5G Status Study - Challenges, standardization, network architecture and planned net-work development (October 2019)

Authors: Ahmed Elbanna with contribution of Fabian Eltges

(full version only available in German)


This document gives an overview over the completed 5G standardizations of 3GPP as well as the ongoing ones. It summarized the current work on the relevant standards in 3GPP, added by the roadmap of the migration from 4G to 5G. 3GPP release 15 defines the 5G system Phase 1, whereas Phase 2 is defined in Release 16, both summarised in this document. The main area of work in Release 15 is the definition of the initial phase of 5G. Beside 5G Phase 1, release 15 also specifies, among other Features: further enhancements on Critical Communications (including Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communication and Highly Reliable Low Latency Communication), Machine-Type Communications (MTC) and Internet of Things (IoT), Vehicle-related Communications (V2X), Mission Critical (MC), and features related to WLAN and unlicensed spectrum.

3GPP release 15 introduced a first set of requirements to support the specific communication needs of railways, Quality of Experience (QoE) related Features, Security-related improvements, Virtual Reality (VR), TV, Codec and multimedia-related improvements, Active Antenna System (AAS).

Not only has release 15 introduced and specified 5G features, but it also has introduced LTE improvements such as OAM operation and management features, further enhancements to Coordinated Multi-Point (CoMP) Operation for LTE, Enhancements for high capacity stationary wireless link and introduction of 1024 QAM for LTE DL, UL data compression in LTE, UE Positioning Accuracy Enhancements for LTE, and Enhancements of LTE CA utilization.

In addition Release 16 presents a variety of topics such as Multimedia Priority Service, Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) application layer services, 5G satellite access, Local Area Network support in 5G, wireless and wireline convergence for 5G, terminal positioning and location, communications in vertical domains and network automation and novel radio techniques.

5G will target a new generation of users attracted by innovative services and seamless connectivity, creating new resource requirements. Users will need more bandwidth to meet the speed and capacity requirements of an increasingly networked society. Operators must be prepared for the challenges of a network designed for people and machines. Governments and service providers must also be prepared to meet the upcoming requirements in order to benefit from them. The success of 5G depends on the adoption of common global standards to ensure that all parties can use 5G as a platform for innovation as quickly as possible.

Discussion Paper is available for download.

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