New Release Hangover!
SRG recently attended the RAN#78 Plenary, held in Lisbon, Portugal. In addition to approving the set of specifications, which comprise the early drop of Release 15 (NSA Option 3 and eMBB only), the Plenary made several decisions or delayed making decisions which have a profound impact on Release 15 functionality and the potential Release 16 functionality which remains undefined.
Highlights of the Report include the following:
Next Steps and Implications
Although the Plenary approved the initial set of Release 15 specifications to support eMBB and Option 3, significant work remains to finalize the specifications. Q1/2018 is nearly reserved for these activities, at the expense of other important activities. In particular, new 5G NR study items remain on hold, which impacts potential Release 16 functionality and/or the schedule.
The Real Motivation for NSA
Although, LTE + 5G NR via dual connectivity is important for seamless coverage and connectivity with millimeter wave deployments, it is equally important for sub 6 GHz (FR1) deployments, albeit for completely different reasons. We explain.
Some New Study and Work Items
There were a few exceptions to the "no new study and work items" policy, largely involving absolutely critical study/work items and pre-existing study items that are now work items. We break them down and provide our thoughts.
New UE (User Equipment) Requirements
3GPP approved or is strongly considering several new requirements which impact UE performance - both for LTE and 5G NR. We discuss.
1. Executive Summary
2. The Untold Operator Need for NSA
3. Next Steps and Implications
- New NR Work Items and Study Items - Keep Dreaming
- Ongoing LTE and NR Study Items and Work Items
- Increasing the Number of LTE Radio Bearers
- LTE Support for Aerial Drones
- WLAN and Bluetooth
4. Proposed and Approved New UE Requirements
- Four Branch Receive Diversity
- Eight Branch Receive Diversity
- Mandatory Channel Bandwidth
- High Power User Equipment
- NR Device Categories and Features
- SA Update
5. Final Thoughts