Mobile industry settles on 5G NR specification; aims for deployment by 2019

"Reaching this milestone enables the next phase of equipment availability and movement to interoperability testing and early 5G availability", said AT&T, one of T-Mobile's big rivals in introducing 5G to the U.S. market. 3GPP that organizes cellular standards has officially signed the first standard specification of 5G i.e. 5G NR (New Radio) standard.

Late last night in Lisbon - Portugal, during the 3GPP's quarterly plenary meeting, we saw the announcement of the completion of Release 15 NSA 5G NR specification.

The members of the 3GPP now have to approve the specs for Standalone 5G, which will replace the current 4G LTE networks.

Sprint hopes to deploy wide-scale 5G in late 2019 and touted the largest block of under-6 GHz spectrum in the US, while T-Mobile is aiming to roll out 5G across the country in 2020.

The two companies are also competing for the installation of conduits for Olympic telecommunication networks despite the mediation of the PyeongChang Olympic Organizing Committee, and are having a war of words over technical superiority over the 5G standard which has not been set yet. These layers have been standardized in the first specifications as the building blocks of 5G NR. The complete and precise information will be released after the finalised standards are published later.

Deutsche Telekom CTO Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, said: "We view both the Non-Standalone and Standalone modes of New Radio as equally important for the completeness of the 5G standard specification".

While the specs themselves won't be announced until next week, they're said to offer support for the full range of low (600MHz, 700MHz), mid-range (3.5GHz) and high-frequency, millimeter wave (50GHz) spectrum.

Sprint has announced a plan to launch a nationwide 5G network by 2019, but hasn't named cities that may be used to test the network.

Although Qualcomm began design on 5G technologies many years ago, the 3GPP 5G journey really kicked off back in September of 2015 at the RAN 5G Workshop in Phoenix, Arizona led by the RAN Chairman at that time, our very own Dino Flore.

Vanessa Coleman