Finally! The group responsible for the standardization of the next generation cellular network, 5G NR (New Radio), has just announced the completion of work on the first standard. This means that manufactures of mobile devices and base stations already know how to design cooperating elements of the Non-Standalone 5G network, which cooperates with the existing LTE technology.
The new 5G networks will operate in one of two modes. The first of them, namely Non-Standalone 5G or Dual Connectivity 5G means that both the user terminal and the 5G base station will communicate with the existing LTE network. This means that smartphones that support upcoming technology will use the existing LTE network most of the time. However, where a 5G signal will be available, an additional connection will be established to the 5G base station, which will be used for data transmission. Everything indicates that the first 5G networks that will be created in Europe will work in this mode. This is evidenced by, among others, tests conducted in Berlin by T-Mobile and Huawei.
The approved 5G NR standard defines how new technology will operate at various frequency bands.
The developed specification defines the operating principles of the new 5G networks both at low frequencies below 1 GHz (for example, the 700 MHz frequency band in Europe) and in the millimetre band around 50 GHz. It also includes the 3.5 GHz band, which is currently used by WiMAX systems. Of course, operators think about its better disposal, and the upcoming 5G technology seems to be the ideal solution for this. Of course, this is not the end of work on standards related to 5G. In the middle of next year, the first standard of Standalone 5G network should be available. There is still a lot of work ahead of 3GPP, but everything seems to indicate that equipment manufacturers and operators will be able to launch the first 5G networks that are expected to appear in 2020.