The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is a consortium of telecommunications industry companies with varying focus areas that meet regularly to implement cellular communication standards. Contrary to what some understand 3GPP to be, they do not enforce these standards, but merely create them. The primary topic under discussion is 5G and Release 15. Release 15 is the set of standards detailing the use of the 5G New Radio standard as it applies to networks, software, silicon, handsets and the broader telecom ecosystem.
Some key performance indicators to take note of are peak data rates, connections for large-scale internet of things implementations, and ultra-reliable low-latency communications. Release 15 will facilitate the ability for the public to upload and download large-scale amounts of data faster and cleaner; the same holds true for enterprises increasingly dependent on hybrid cloud services. Cell phones are one of many types of hardware requiring an internet connection. The IoT is growing at a rapid rate, and Release 15 is ensuring that your refrigerator, your watch, and your home security system can connect efficiently to the internet.
Peak data rates
The ability to transmit gargantuan amounts of data at a faster, smoother rate is a big part of Release 15’s bragging rights. This is referred to as enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), and its goal as part of the 5G network is to deliver up to 10 Gbps peak throughput, 1 Gbps throughput in high mobility, and a lower cost per bit per hertz transmitted.
URLLC and MTC
eMBB is only one of many ways network standards are improving. Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications and Massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC) are also included in Release 15. URLLC and mMTC are specifically designed to facilitate communication between devices and things (IoT), rather than facilitating communication between people. Though they have different functional necessities than eMBB, these two communication types are vital in an evolving world of IoT and key to the future of automation.
Release 15 will also propagate wider bandwidths for 5G NR. Wi-Fi and cellular networks are inherently limited by the type and amount of spectrum they support. Hence the millimeter wavelengths associated with 5G NR network–these millimeter wavelengths come with massive channel sizes that are necessary to deliver multi-gigabit connectivity.
Network capacity expansion
To facilitate the ongoing and continued expansion of data volume, operators are investing massively in network densification efforts. While this trend is also prevalent in LTE networks, 5G networks, particularly those using millimeter wave frequencies, will require massive densification at the street-level driven by small cell installation.
New signal processing practices
The requirements of 5G NR are complex, and the need for a combination of low-latency and high algorithm density has brought about the development of new and advanced signal processing practices. This will allow 5G to cover more ground faster, and, over a broader range of devices.
3GPP Release 15 is offering huge advancements in the way we communicate with each other, and the way the devices we use every day connect to the world around us.