5G New Radio release 17 shows improvements in coverage, latency, and power

5G New Radio release 17 shows improvements in coverage, latency, and power

In June, a freeze is expected, and that will be a good thing in terms of the 5G standard. That’s because the 3GPP standards body is expected to freeze the development of coding and protocols in June 2022 of the Release 17 specification. This round of evolution of the 5G standard brings with it enhanced capabilities related to edge computing, in particular around ow latency communications and enhanced precise positioning for use cases such as robotics.

The latest update to the 5G specification has already reached what’s called a “functional freeze” that marks the conclusion of the first phase of the 5G new radio technology evolution, according to Qualcomm Technologies. Qualcomm said Release 17 has delivered another boost to the 5G ecosystem and continues to expand the wireless technology into new devices and application scopes.

The new release brings enhancements in capacity, coverage, latency, power, mobility and several other factors, according to Qualcomm.

Starting off with the latency, Release 17 provides information on the enhanced ultra-reliable, low-latency communication (URLLC) with improvements in the physical layer feedback, compatibility for unlicensed spectrum, intra-device multiplexing, and prioritization. Coverage enhancements in the uplink control and data channel design for improved reliability across multiple transmission and frequency hopping for diverse deployment in sub-7GHz and mmWave networks.

For device power saving, the release brings enhancements for both idle and connected operation models as it supports new techniques to reduce device paging reception, relaxation of device measurement for the radio link, and more. There also comes spectrum expansion to expand the mmWave spectrum range from 24.25 to 52.6GHz up to 71GHz also knowns as the FR2-2 band. This will provide support for the 60GHz unlicensed band enabling scope for new use cases and deployments.

For small IoT edge devices, Release 17 scales down the 5G New Radio design to 20 MHz/100 MHz in sub-7/mmWave to reduce the number of receiving antennas required. The new release also supports non-terrestrial networks, such as satellite communication, and includes two projects focussing on satellite backhaul communications for CPEs (customer premises equipment) and adapting eMTC/NB-IoT operation to satellite communications.

Some of the other minor enhancement projects include improvement to multi-radio dual connectivity, multi-SIM support, higher-order modulation, small data transmission, quality of experience, data collection, RAN slicing, and more.

“Release 18 is the inaugural standard release for 5G Advanced that will set off a new wave of wireless innovations and is expected to deliver on the 5G vision. At the same time, the 5G ecosystem is rapidly proliferating 5G networks globally and starting to commercialize Release 16 features, with Release 17 following in the near future, says Juan Montojo, vice president, Technical Standards, Qualcomm Technologies in a blog post. “There is a lot of work ahead of us and I am extremely excited about the new technologies that will lead us on the path to the 6G future.”

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