Upcoming in 5G technology Advanced?
First look at 3GPP Release
The decade-long 5G technology evolution reached a milestone this month. The scope of 5G Advanced Release was decided at the final 3GPP RAN Plenary meeting of 2023 in Edinburgh after months of intense discussions. Let’s examine the major projects expected to start soon after the new year.
Giving 5G Advanced Released
Based on 3GPP Released, Released 5G will introduce new 5G features. It drives system improvements, expands into new use cases, adds capabilities, and lays the groundwork for 6G. Examine each focus area in detail.
5G system improvements
As the ecosystem learns from deployed networks and devices, Release will prioritize 5G commercialization-relevant improvements.These projects strengthen 5G technology.
A brief overview:
Uplink and downlink MIMO evolution: 5G massive multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) capabilities improve, with extra focus on uplink performance and beam management to reduce overhead/latency. Work is also underway to support up to 128 CSI-RS ports to match antenna configurations of modern massive MIMO deployments.
Multi-TRP operation is also evolved to target scenarios with single-TRP operation in Downlink and multi-TRP operation in Uplink, enabling feedback enhancements for improved Coherent Joint Transmission (CJT) support under non-ideal synchronization and backhaul assumptions. Finally, a 3-antenna port non-coherent UL codebook design will be specified.
Supporting inter-CU Layer 2 mobility and related measurements enhancements are the main goals of device mobility enhancements. Conditioning Layer 2 mobility and a new Study Item to improve wireless AI/ML device mobility are also supported.
Advanced network topology: This release begins by studying Wireless Access and Backhaul (WAB) and 5G femto-cells before specifying them. WAB is a gNB with Mobile Terminal (MT) function that provides PDU session backhaul for all 5G deployments. Support architecture and protocol stack will be examined. Femto-cells were specified for 3G and 4G but not 5G Technology. Released will be examined for missing functionality to support 5G femto-cells.
Other system improvements: A project to improve self-organizing networks (SON)/minimization of drive tests (MDT) was also approved to address mobility enhancements and Rel-18 RACH optimizations and carrier aggregation support. A large number of smaller projects to improve performance and efficiency in coverage, multi-carrier operations, multi-SIM, sidelink, positioning, quality of experience, broadcast, device capabilities, and more will be considered for approval in September ’24 based on commercial needs and Released progress.
Additional use case variations
Released will support new and enhanced use cases beyond mobile broadband (smartphones, PCs, fixed wireless access) and vertical services (IoT, automotive) to help 5G Technology reach its full potential. Some key areas
Get new features in Release:
Ambient IoT: Released will first study architecture and design options for extremely low-complexity 5G devices with small or no energy storage (i.e., battery-less) and with/without signal generation or amplification through a harmonized specification. The topology where the gNB directly communicates with Ambient IoT tags and the UE acts as the reader are considered.
Enhance boundless XR: Released will improve traffic scheduling, device power savings, and latency to improve user experiences. Released focused on capacity and power consumption optimizations.
Released will increase uplink capacity and support regenerative payload for IoT-NTN and NR-NTN. NR-NTN will improve downlink coverage and add MBS and RedCap support to NTN.
New advanced abilities
5G Technology Advanced introduces the second wave of innovations that will transform the 5G system. Release will continue many of these projects’ multi-release studies/work. Some examples:
Wireless AI: Released begins the Work Item after Released extensive AI-enabled air interface and framework for next-generation RAN study. The goal is to provide specification support for a general AI/ML framework for air interface and specific beam management and positioning use cases from Released. Released in the december will also study channel state information enhancement use cases to find larger gains and better understand two-sided AI/ML models.
Network energy savings: Release specifies more 5G network energy-saving methods. To save network energy, this includes studying on-demand SIB1 transmissions for UEs in Idle/Inactive mode, specifying on-demand SSB for UEs in Connected mode configured with Carrier Aggregation, and adapting common signal/channel transmissions.
Low-power wakeup receiver (LP-WUR): The Released Study of Item is moving into the Work Item phase, supporting the most efficient signaling (e.g., waveform, measurement, sync) for very low-power IoT use cases (e.g., sensors) with enhanced RedCap features.
6G tech foundation
5G Advanced aims to set 6G technology directions early. While Released is the last “5G only” release (Release 20 is expected to begin 6G studies), several projects are exploring the technical possibilities of these
6G enablers: Full duplex is the wireless communications holy grail because transmitting and receiving in the same band is rewarding and difficult.Will standardize subband full duplex using self and crosslink interference mitigation.
Enable new spectrum bands: To meet the insatiable capacity demand, the wireless ecosystem is studying the upper midband spectrum’s 7–24 GHz channel characteristics, which can deliver 500 MHz or more contiguous bandwidth. This could be 6G’s wide-area band.
Combining wireless communications with RF sensing is a key differentiator for 6G, according to industry opinion. This synergy can enable sensing-assisted communications, public safety, and other new use cases. Released in the studying channel characteristics for sensing various objects Our world is changing with 5G Technology, Qualcomm is excited to lead 5G Technology Advanced and see it change our world unprecedentedly.