3GPP freezes Release 16 NR Specifications

On July 3, At the TSG RAN#88-e plenary meeting, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) announced the freeze of Release 16 NR Specifications, marking the completion of the first evolutionary release of 5G technologies.

Release 16 was finalized on schedule thanks to the collective hard work and close collaboration of global industries. This is the first time ever that 3GPP has ratified a technological standardization outside of physical meetings. With daunting challenges arising from the ongoing pandemic worldwide, global industry partners united as one to jointly complete the evolutionary release of 5G specifications, Release 16 NR, with an excellent quality.

By virtue of a high level of sincere collaboration, the culmination of Release 16 NR was witnessed by nearly 600 experts from all over the world, including leading telecom carriers, network equipment vendors, terminal and chipset vendors, instrument and meter manufacturers, Internet companies, and businesses from various vertical sectors through web conferences.

Release 16 highlights not only 5G’s continued enhancement in terms of high bandwidth and low latency, but also its extended applicability to a wide range of vertical industries, as well as new features designed to increase network performance and deployment efficiencies. More than 20 standard technological features were newly added, including a series of improvements for enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) and vertical applications.

These eMBB improvements cover Massive MIMO, cell interruption-free handover, and remote interference suppression. A number of technologies are also specially consolidated for vertical industries, such as ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC), NR vehicle to everything (V2X), non-public networking (NPN) and positioning.

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