Since the beginning of this year 5G has been flooding tech news hubs worldwide. However, an actual 5G network is still not in sight, even though the United States and South Korea have already implemented islands of 5G coverage since April 4. The rest of the world does not have a fully functional 5G network yet. A worldwide cooperation of standardization committees tries to create the requirements for uniform 5G networks and their implementation.
The global initiative 3GPP
The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) unites telecommunications standard development organizations worldwide and develops protocols for mobile telephony. The standards are called Releases – the first Release related to 5G was Release 15. It focuses on the 5G expansion without relying on the existing 4G network, laying the foundation for the first 5G networks.
Release 16 will then be completed by the end of this year with further enhancements and additions to future 5G networks and the existing LTE network. In 2020 the newest standard will be introduced.
5G Broadcast is getting closer
Among other things Release 16 makes it possible to realize future visions such as autonomous driving thanks to cellular V2X, which enables vehicle-to-network communication, or the industrial IoT. Smart homes with private networks and enhancements to mobile broadband become possible as well.
In response to a request to Qualcomm regarding a specification for 5G Broadcast, we were confirmed that the new broadcast mode is actually a work item in Release 16. Already in Release 15, 5G Broadcast was a study item which is now probably completed. Unfortunately, we were not given any further information. Nevertheless, Release 16 still sounds exciting for the time being.