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The 3GPP TSG RAN Plenary Meeting in Lisbon successfully completed the first implementable 5G NR specification on December 21. Global telecom players, including operators, vendors, and manufacturers, made a statement that the completion of the first 5G New Radio (5G NR) standard has set the stage for the global mobile industry to start full-scale development of 5G NR for large-scale trials and commercial deployments as early as in 2019.

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AT&T, BT, China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Huawei, Intel, KT Corporation, LG Electronics, LG Uplus, MediaTek Inc., NEC Corporation, Nokia, NTT DOCOMO, Orange, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Samsung Electronics, SK Telecom, Sony Mobile Communications Inc., Sprint, TIM, Telefonica, Telia Company, T-Mobile USA, Verizon, Vodafone, and ZTE were among the companies to release the statement.

“We are excited to be part of this significant milestone, and to once again be at the forefront, making the 5G vision a reality in 2019,” said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president, Qualcomm Technologies. “We look forward to continue working with our mobile industry peers to bring 5G NR commercial networks and devices in 2019 in smartphone and other form factors, for both sub-6Ghz and mmWave frequency bands, and to continue developing 5G technologies to connect new industries and enable new services and user experiences in the years to come.”

Yang Chaobin, president of Huawei 5G product line, said: “As one of the key players, Huawei has committed to develop a single global 5G standard. With successful cooperation and joint efforts with global organizations including governments, regulatory agencies, research organizations, academia, industries, and many more sectors, 3GPP 5G NR standardization Phase 1 has been completed with great progress. Huawei will keep working with global partners to bring 5G into the period of large-scale global commercial deployment from 2018.”

On February 27, 2017 in Barcelona, global mobile industry leaders announced their support for the acceleration of the 5G NR standardization schedule, which introduced an intermediate milestone to complete the first implementable specification for Non-Standalone 5G NR operation. As a result of this announcement, the schedule acceleration was agreed at the 3GPP RAN Plenary Meeting on March 9 in Dubrovnik, Croatia. This first specification was completed as part of 3GPP Release 15.

This standard completion is an essential milestone to enable cost-effective and full-scale development of 5G NR, which will greatly enhance the capabilities of 3GPP systems, as well as facilitate the creation of vertical market opportunities. 3GPP plans to continue to develop Release 15, including the addition of support for Standalone 5G NR operation also agreed upon by 3GPP in Dubrovnik.

The 5G NR lower layer specifications have been designed so that they can support Standalone and Non-Standalone 5G NR operation in a unified way, to ensure that 3GPP benefits the global industry with a large-scale single 5G NR ecosystem.

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