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"Wait a long time to finally wait until today!" Under the spotlight, the much-anticipated 5G has taken another important step!
At 20:18 local time on June 13, 2018 (Beijing time: June 14, 2018, 11:18), in San Diego, the 3GPP Plenary (TSG#80) approved the fifth-generation mobile communication technology standard (5G NR) independent Network (SA) standard function freezes.
Almost at the same time, the industry has also received major positive news. Ericsson and Intel joined hands with China Mobile Research Institute and Jiangsu Corporation to announce the successful completion of the first interoperability testing (IoDT) of 5G new air interface (NR) with 3GPP Independent Network (SA) standard at Ericsson Beijing Laboratory.
With great excitement, representatives from tripartite experts from Ericsson, Intel, China Mobile Research Institute and Jiangsu Mobile gathered at the Ericsson Building in Beijing and shared with us the freezing of the SA standard and the first 5G new air interface that meets 3GPP SA standards. The stories in the process of interoperability testing among different vendors—“sprint”, “struggle”, and “cooperation” are the keywords that we hear most frequently.
Struggle spirit + sincere cooperation
From the concept stage, to technology research and development, to the standardization process, the much-anticipated 5G has experienced many.
In December last year, the NSA (non-independent networking) core standard was just frozen. By June this year, the independent networking (SA) standard function was frozen. 5G has completed the first phase of full-featured standardization work and entered a new phase of full-scale industrial sprint.
“China Mobile and global industry partners have worked together to complete the development of a unified standard for 5G independent networking. Together with Ericsson and Intel, they have successfully implemented 5G new air interface interoperability testing. This is an important milestone for the 5G standard towards productization and commercialization. It has laid a solid foundation for China Mobile's 5G scale experiment and helped the global 5G industry to achieve success, said Huang Yuhong, vice president of the China Mobile Research Institute.
It is not easy for 5G to come today. “When I announced the freezing of the SA standard, I was very emotional! This is really not easy!” Huang Yuhong recalled. “I still remember that when we discussed the 5G standard to speed up the previous year, everyone felt that time was tight. For this reason, we would add 4 times a year from the original. At the 8th meeting, the number of delegates per meeting also doubled. It was almost impossible for people to go about standard discussions and it was really difficult for us to achieve today's results. China Mobile, Ericsson, Intel, and many companies have made great efforts for 5G. , 5G is everyone working together to fight out! Everyone is fighting for every important landmark event, work overtime, the results of the struggle is very great, really thank you very much for your spirit of struggle."
5G is no longer just a new generation of mobile communications technology, it also shoulders the new task of promoting the digital transformation of the industry. Therefore, 5G is a very large ecosystem. It involves not only participants in the traditional mobile communications industry chain such as standard organizations, scientific research institutions, operators, equipment vendors, and terminal chip manufacturers, but also various industries that are eager to carry out digital transformation. .
Therefore, 5G is not a company that can do it alone, but it is the result of the sincere cooperation of the entire industry. “Whatever stage of the standard requires the close cooperation of our entire industry, for example, when we discuss important decisions, we will communicate with Ericsson, Intel and many other partners in a lot of communication and coordination until everyone agrees that this standard can move forward. "Huang Yuhong emphasized that although everybody has its own important demands, in order to guarantee the timing, we must ensure that we choose the best technology. We all work closely together to advance the standard process. There is no sincere endeavor and it is impossible for such a short period of time. With such good results, we are very grateful to the cooperation spirit of the industry.
Into the pre-commercial acceleration period
The freezing of SA functions not only enables 5G NR to have the capability of independent deployment, but also brings a new end-to-end new architecture, enabling the intelligent development of enterprise-level customers and vertical industries, and bringing operators and industry partners together. New business model. For example, for the three major application scenarios of 5G eMBB, uRLLC, and mMTC, the NSA standard released last year mainly focuses on the eMBB scenario. This release of the SA version completes the basic version protocol of low latency and high reliability scenario and completes 5G from The desire to extend the mobile Internet to the Internet of Things.
The first true 5G specification is the Rel-15 version, which includes the NSA and SA architectures. With the freezing of NSA and SA standards, operators can rely on their existing 4G network to deploy 5G, and they can also build new 5G wireless access networks and core networks, regardless of whether they choose an operator of the NSA transitional solution or SA independence. Operators of the network can start their operations. Especially for the terminal chips that generally lag behind the system equipment for 12-18 months, everyone can also start early to lay the foundation for the determination of the terminal part standards in the next step. Only with commercially available terminals can there be real commercial significance. 5G network.
"The freezing of the first 5G technology standard means that the product development of the scale has technical conditions, and the industry is about to enter the stage of preparation for deployment, that is, the precommercial acceleration period." Dr. Liu Wei, 5G expert of Ericsson Northeast Asia, pointed out that Since then, Ericsson has played a crucial role in the 3GPP specification work. Not only has it actively participated in discussions in various working groups, it has also assumed the role of many key specification writers, and has promoted the formation of a unified global 5G specification and ensured standardized work. Plan plays a key role.
According to Dr. Liu Wei, the ASN.1 part of Rel-15 is expected to be frozen at the end of September 2018, and the end-to-end R&D of the industrial chain still needs further development; Reel-15 and the Late Drop part are expected to be completed by the end of 2018; The development of Rel-16 will also start at the same time. From now on, the planning and timing of Rel-16 will be focused on.
It can be seen that with the freezing of the SA standard, 5G has entered the sprint phase and the industry has accelerated.
Interoperability testing is essential
Although the freeze of standardization means that the specifications between nodes are completely determined, 5G is far from successful, and the work of interconnection and interworking is an indispensable important link before commercial use of 5G.
On the same day that the SA standard function freezes, Ericsson and Intel, together with China Mobile Research Institute and Jiangsu Corporation, successfully demonstrated the first interoperability of 3G independent network (SA) standards that meet the 3GPP independent network (SA) standards. Ericsson Beijing Laboratory conducted 5G new Air Interface Interoperability Test (IoDT) in compliance with 3GPP SA standards, demonstrating that heterogeneous vendor data transmission was implemented in the 100-MHz bandwidth of the 3.5GHz band; the test system used Ericsson 5G new air interface base station and Intel 5G The new air interface terminal (MTP) prototype, this IoDT interworking is an important milestone achievement of the 5G new air interface SA standard for commercial use.
Talking about why the standard can respond so quickly after freezing? Dr. Chen Ming, CTO of Ericsson Northeast Asia, pointed out that our R&D will not start until the standard freeze, but parallel with the progress of standardization. As a leader in standardization, Ericsson’s technical judgment can help us accelerate product development; moreover, the content of the SA standard established on June 14 was actually frozen at the working group level at the Korean meeting in May, when Ericsson began to follow up with the latest progress at full speed. . Therefore, we can complete the new air interface interconnection test at the first time when the plenary meeting approves the SA standard. The challenge here is how to achieve the best performance in a short period of time. After the overnight struggle of the R&D teams, we achieved 1.3 Gbit/ s rate.
Although the first true 5G specification has been set, it also means that the entire industry needs a new growth cycle. It will involve system equipment, interconnection, terminal chip devices and the maturity of the entire industry chain. Ericsson said that it will join hands with the industry to make the process smoother and faster.