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The long-awaited global standard for mobile 5G will be completed this week, as Samsung announced today that it’s currently hosting the final meeting of multiple 5G working groups in Busan, South Korea. Running from May 21 to May 25, the meeting brings together 1,500 experts to decide which technologies will be commercialized in 5G, ahead of next month’s official approval by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) in the United States.
Standards experts from across the world have been working under the auspices of the 3GPP for years to determine the technical and performance characteristics of 5G. Qualcomm hastened the process last year, pushing for an early agreement on the so-called 5G Non-Standalone standard that would be used in 5G network hardware. The “Christmas present” agreement quickly led to announcements of “fixed 5G” hardware and spurred dozens of companies to start work on portable 5G devices.
This week’s 3GPP conference will complete the 5G Standalone standard for “mobile 5G” devices, bringing together wireless carriers and vendors of cellular chipsets, handsets, and equipment. Once both the fixed and mobile standards have been finalized, the 3GPP will approve the overall “5G phase-1” standard at a June meeting in the U.S.
All of the 3GPP’s working groups will confirm which technologies will make it into the 5G standard, enabling ultra-high speed data, ultra-low latency, and reliability. The groups will also decide the radio performance requirements for new-to-5G bands, including midband 3.5GHz and 28GHz millimeter wave, enabling commercialization of 5G to take place across the world.
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Citing an ITU chart from early 2017, Samsung notes that 5G will offer up to 20 times the peak data rate, 10 times the user experienced data rate, one-tenth the latency, and 10 times the number of connected devices versus 4G/LTE. The company has already received FCC approval for an end-to-end fixed 5G wireless solution that’s expected to debut with Verizon in the U.S. around the fourth quarter of 2018. After the mobile 5G standard is approved, announcements of 5G smartphones and tablets will soon begin to dominate headlines.
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