Another major 5G milestone has been reached this week.
The 3GPP has announced the completion of the standalone 5G standard. This is a bit different than the 5G standard that was approved in December 2017, which was a non-standalone standard that used existing LTE network and added a 5G carrier on top of it. The standalone 5G standard allows for 5G to be deployed independently.
Here’s what Balázs Bertényi, Chairman of 3GPP TSG RAN, had to say about this news:
“The freeze of Standalone 5G NR radio specifications represents a major milestone in the quest of the wireless industry towards realizing the holistic 5G vision. 5G NR Standalone systems not only dramatically increase the mobile broadband speeds and capacity, but also open the door for new industries beyond telecommunications that are looking to revolutionize their ecosystem through 5G.”
Of course, it’ll still be a little longer before consumers will have access to 5G networks. Some carriers have said that they want to begin deploying 5G coverage this year, but we’ll have to wait until next year for smartphones that can actually use that coverage. Still, the completion of this new 5G standard is exciting because it’s an important milestone in the process of consumer 5G networks.