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Home > GB Feature > 【Tech News】 How is the 5G standard developed?
【Tech News】 How is the 5G standard developed?

【Tech News】 How is the 5G standard developed?

By  Steve Lowry 2018-05-30 4278 0

Recently, 3GPP held the final meeting of the 5G first-stage standards development in South Korea. It is expected that next month, 3GPP will announce the first phase of the 5G standard. So, what kind of organization is 3GPP? How many 5G standards on earth? How is the 5G standard developed?

What kind of organization is 3GPP?

3GPP is currently the organization that is developing 5G communication standard technology. More than 550 companies are participating as member companies. It consists of 16 working groups and is responsible for developing standard specifications for end-to-end technologies for terminals, base stations and systems. From the naming, it can be seen that the organization was founded in the 3G era. In 1998, several telecommunications standards organization partners signed the "3rd Generation Partnership Project Agreement" and formulated globally applicable technical specifications and technical reports for the 3G era. Since then, 3GPP has continued into the 4G era, and then to the 5G era.



3GPP Logo



Prior to the 3GPP standardization, 5G standardization was divided into two phases: the first phase started R15 as a 5G standard and was completed in June 2018; the second phase initiated R16 as a 5G standard and was completed in December 2019. The first phase of 5G standards will be finalized at the 3GPP conference held in the United States next month.


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Why so many 5G standards

Some readers are skeptical. Last year did not mean that 3GPP had already established a 5G standard? How do you decide once again now? Why are there any claims that the final standard will wait until 2019 or even 2020?


2 5G standard


The last time we determined the 5G NSA (Non-Standalone) standard, this time we will determine the 5G SA (Standalone) standard. Non-Standalone networking, in simple terms, is not an independent 5G network. It must be integrated with other things, such as 4G or even 3G, while 5G independent networking means that there is no 4G, and 5G is completely established.

In the non-independent networking, what does 5G do?

5G is used as a supplement. Biggest network is 4G. However, in some hot spots, such as the Olympic Games stadium, CBD, etc., these local areas increases the speed and user perception and experience through 5G hotspots, but the entire large-scale network remains. Not using 5G. In contrast, 5G independent networking means that the entire network is completely covered by 5G.



How is the 5G standard developed



The development of an independent networking standard means that the deployment standards for the entire 5G network have been refined, and the non-independent networking has focused on hotspots as a solution to the problem of small-scale local hotspot coverage. Now under the independent networking standard, 5G The problem of comprehensive network coverage can be solved. Therefore, the establishment of this standard is very important. We can think that the 5G standard is further advanced and perfected.


How is the 5G standard developed?

According to 3GPP's previously announced 5G network standard development process, the entire 5G network standard was completed in several stages. In the R15 phase, it is expected that the 5G standard (SA) of the independent networking will be completed by June 2018, supporting the enhancement of mobile broadband, low latency, high reliability of the Internet of Things, and completion of the network interface protocol. In the R16 phase, it is expected that in December 2019, a complete 5G standard meeting all ITU (International Telecommunication Union) requirements will be completed. The entire 5G standard was fully adopted at the ITU conference and is expected to reach 2020.



5G time line



Some manufacturers revealed that the 3GPP's working methods are aimed at achieving consensus. A proposal was passed. The only requirement was that there was no opposition from the company, not how many companies agreed. Based on the patent reserves and interest considerations of various manufacturers, each proposal was initially opposed by many companies. The proposal can rarely be passed through as it is. Therefore, many proposals need to be left for discussion at the next meeting. It is also necessary to constantly negate and amend some proposals in order to achieve the result of the unanimous approval of companies with greater discourse power.


Why does it involve the adoption of ITU?

As an international standardization organization that promotes the 5G standard, most members of the 3GPP are composed of professional associations and companies. Global companies can apply for membership. It promotes the technical standards that are reached on the basis of repeated in-depth discussions among industry, companies, and experts.


After the 5G technical standard is determined by 3GPP, it will also be recognized by the ITU International Telecommunication Union. To a certain extent, the ITU member representative is the position of the host country and the government. The adoption of the ITU conference represents that the proposal represents a standard is recognized as the final official result. It also means the official determination of this international standard.


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The right of contention for patent rights

The 5G right to speak is the core number of patents that have finally been approved. The 3GPP researched and unified standards are approved and promulgated by the International Telecommunication Union, they become the only standard in the international 5G field. Subsequently, all manufacturers around the world are required to carry out equipment production, networking, and terminal access in accordance with this standard.


However, the patent rights under the standard are held by the hands of a few manufacturers. Therefore, other companies need to obtain patent licenses from companies that possess core patents, some adopt patent cross-licensing methods, and others adopt cost-saving methods. Patent cross-licensing means that both parties open up the use right of some equal-valued patented technology and the right to sell related products to achieve sharing.


Usually, large companies use patented cross-licensing methods, and some of them rely on the value difference of the patent portfolio to make some economic compensation to the other party; small businesses can only use the purchase method to obtain patent licenses.



patent rights



Last year, Qualcomm announced a 5G patent fee plan, charging 2.275% to 5% of each mobile phone using its patent. In other words, most domestic Android vendors need to pay $11.357 to $25 in royalties for every handset that sells for $500. Qualcomm occupied a favorable position in communications technology patents from the 3G era. Its "standard necessary patents" occupied the first position with 10.5% of the 3GPP standards in the 4G era. In other words, almost as long as it is a 3G / 4G / 5G handset, it will inevitably use Qualcomm's patents, and it will need to pay a patent license fee or obtain a patent cross-license.


In fact, all manufacturers have already begun to lay out 5G and apply for corresponding patents. ZTE said that in the field of 5G, ZTE has accumulated more than 1,500 patent applications, and has repeatedly achieved technological breakthroughs. The first Pre5G Massive MIMO base station has been commercialized in China and Japan. Samsung said that Samsung is a leader in 5G. As of this month, with 1,254 patents, Samsung Electronics ranked first in the list of 3GPP member companies that filed 5G standard patents with the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). At the beginning of the year, Huawei released the first 3GPP standard 5G commercial chips and terminals , it has implemented multiple 5G deployments around world.



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