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3GPP Ratifies Initial Specification for 5G

The 3GPP today ratified the first 5G specification, officially termed Non-Standalone 5G New Radio, or NSA 5G NR. The ratification took place at the 3GPP’s RAN#78 meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, and capped off months of conferences to push the spec through before year’s end. Balazs Bertenyi, RAN Chair, called it, “An impressive achievement in a remarkably short time, with credit due particularly to the Working Groups.” Qualcomm led much of the effort, though network operators and other technology companies from around the world all played a role. The NSA 5G NR spec is the underlying framework that will be put to use by commercial 5G products, or things such as cell towers and base stations. The specification includes support for low-band spectrum (600 MHz), mid-band spectrum (3.5 GHz), and high-band spectrum (50 GHz). The 3GPP is still working on the Standalone (SA) 5G NR spec, which won’t be completed until mid 2018. The NSA 5G NR and the SA 5G NR standards will together include the technology used by commercial entities, the air interface, and end users. The 3GPP said the actual, technical specifications for today’s ratified NSA 5G NR will be published in the days ahead.

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