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R17 will define the future of 5G

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  • Jimmy at
  • August 21, 2020

The first version of 5G standard R15 was frozen in June 2018. By the first half of 2020, 5G's second version standard R16 will also be frozen. Next, R17 will define the future of 5G!

In December 2019, at the 86th plenary session of 3GPP RAN in Spain, 3GPP determines to carry out more than 20 research and work projects for 5G R17, which are expected to be completed by mid-2021 or the end of 2021. What will these projects study?

1.The frequency range is extended to 71GHz
It is well known that the frequency range (FR) of 5G NR is divided into FR1 and FR2, of which FR1 is 410mhZ-7.125ghz and FR2 is 24.25ghz -- 52.6ghz. Now, R17 will expand the frequency range of 5G NR from 52.6ghz to 71GHz.

2.Here comes Lightweight version NR


Everyone knows that NB-IoT and eMTC are simplified and lightweight versions of LTE, which are designed for IoT applications with low power consumption, low cost, low speed, large connections, and wide coverage. When we are entering the era of 5G Internet of Everything, we also need a simplified and lightweight version of 5G NR. That is NR-Light.
The capability and cost of NR-Light are between eMTC/NB-IoT and NR eMBB/URLLC. It only occupies 10MHz or 20MHz bandwidth and supports a downlink rate of 100Mbps and an uplink rate of 50Mbps. It is mainly used in many scenes such as industrial Internet of things sensors, surveillance cameras, wearable devices and so on. 

The main research directions for NR-Light include:
• Reduce UE cost and complexity
• Reduce UE uplink and downlink bandwidth
• Reduce UE RX antenna, including 2RX and 1RX
• Reduce baseband complexity
• Reduce UE Tx power level
• Research on the technologies to further improve UE energy efficiency
• Research on RRC IDLE/INACTIVE power-saving technologies, including idle mode RRM, paging wake-up, etc.
• Research on low power consumption technology based on RRC CONNECTED state

3.NB-IoT and eMTC are connected
5G aims to realize full connection and full coverage, which is really a difficult dream. Carriers have to spend a lot of money to build many gNodeB. And it is difficult to cover some special objects, such as the ships traveling on the sea and the planes flying in the sky.
So the best way is to make terrestrial cellular networks integrate with non-terrestrial networks to create a three-dimensional wide coverage (NTN), such as satellite network convergence.
3GPP R16 has studied the integration of 5G NR and non-terrestrial networks. The R17 version will further study the integration of NB-IoT/eMTC and non-terrestrial networks to support the Internet of Things applied to vertical industries such as agriculture, mining, forestry, and marine transportation in remote mountainous areas.

4.NR coverage enhancement
NB-IoT/eMTC enhances the coverage capability, which can improve the coverage of cellular IoT. However, eMBB applications in rural areas all over the world have been ignored. According to statistics, nearly half of the world's population cannot connect to the Internet. At the same time, 5G frequency range is getting higher and higher, single-site coverage is getting smaller and smaller, and network coverage expansion is becoming more and more difficult.
Therefore, R17 will evaluate the performance of 5G NR re-cultivation of low frequency bands, evaluate the coverage of uplink and downlink physical channels, and study coverage enhancement solutions.

5.NR multicast and broadcast services
R16 only studies and supplements 5G terrestrial broadcasting based on LTE. 5G NR does not support multicast and broadcast services. Therefore, R17 will start to study the multicast and broadcast services based on 5G NR this time.

The research content of R17 includes all above but not limited to these. In addition, R17 also study location precision, NR Sidelink enhancement, IAB enhancement, NR MIMO, NR UE Power Saving Enhancements and so on.

IPLOOK always keep pace with the times and we now complies to the international R16 standard. Let’s look forward to the arrival of new 5G era defined by R17!