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3GPP’s Releases towards 6G

5G Evolution To 6G_070922A
[5G Evolution To 6G - Rohde & Schwarz]

- 3GPP's Releases toward 6G

While Release 15 provides a solid framework for enhanced network performance and mass offering of amazing services, 3GPP is actively working on further enhancing the framework as shown below:

  • Release 15. 3GPP defined 5G Phase 1 in Release 15 (R15). Example features of R15 include the New Radio (NR) air interface, new radio network architecture called next generation radio access network (NG-RAN), new core network architecture called next generation core (NGC) or 5G core (5GC), service based architecture (SBA), network slicing and edge computing.
  • Release 16. Planned features for Release 16 (R16), also called 5G Phase 2, include NR unlicensed (NR-U), integrated access and backhaul (IAB), enhanced vehicle-to-everything (eV2X), URLLC and industrial IoT (IIoT) enhancements and service enabler architecture layer (SEAL) for verticals. 
  • Release 17. Release 17 (R17) features include non-terrestrial networks (NTN) (i.e. those using satellites), new frequency bands (e.g. 7 GHz to 24 GHz and > 53 GHz), enhancements to NR sidelink and NR light. 
  • Release 18: 5G Advanced. 3GPP Release 18 (R18) investigates solutions to further improve accuracy, integrity, and power efficiency in positioning, study sidelink positioning, and investigate positioning support for RedCap devices. Spectrum is a scarce resource that needs to be used efficiently to achieve the highest societal benefit.

- 5G Advanced: Evolution towards 6G

3GPP Release 18 marks the beginning of 5G Advanced. 5G Advanced builds on the 5G baselines defined by 3GPP in Releases 15, 16 and 17.

5G New Radio (NR) and 5G Core (5GC) continue to evolve towards 5G Advanced in 3GPP to ensure the global success of 5G systems and expand the use of 3GPP technologies by supporting different use cases and verticals. AI/ML will play an important role in 5G Advanced systems, in addition to other technology components that power Extended Reality (XR), Reduced Capability (RedCap) devices, and network energy efficiency.  The standardization of 5G Advanced is an important step in the evolution of cellular wireless access to 6G.


[More to come ...]

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