5G in Release 17 – A big leap towards enhance Radio

3GPP made substantial decisions regarding the further technology evolution of 5G NR radio.

5G NR radio evolution is carried out with a drive from a multitude of key stakeholders from the
traditional commercial cellular industry, a wide variety of industry verticals and the non-terrestrial
access ecosystem. The Release-17 work program is a testament that 3GPP is committed to serving all of these key stakeholders.

The Discussion Areas for Rel-17

  • NR MIMO
  • NR Sidelink enhancement
  • New Radio for above 52.6GHz
  • Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) enhancement
  • Industrial loT URLLC enhancement
  • loT over Non Terrestrial Networks (NTN)
  • NR over Non Terrestrial Networks (NTN)
  • NR Positioning enhancement
  • Low complexity NR devices Power saving
  • NR eXtended Reality (XR)
  • Positioning Enhancements
  • 5G Multicast broadcast
  • RAN Slicing enhancement for Small Cell
  • SON / Minimization of drive tests (MDT) enhancement
  • LTE C-plane / U-plane split
  • Network Automation for 5G – phase 2
  • Edge Computing in 5GC
  • Proximity-based Services in 5GS
  • Enhancement V2x Services
  • Advanced Interactive Services
  • Access Traffic Steering, Switch and Splitting support in the 5G system architecture
  • 5GC Location Services
  • 5G LAN-type services
  • Supporting of Railway Smart Station Services

Taking a look at the above items, we may have a feeling that 3GPP Rel-17 is a “clean-up” from Rel-15
and Rel-16 being the basic for 5G. There are a lot of gaps and missing elements, as well as
enhancements to be looked up.

The radio architecture of 5G NR is substantially more versatile than LTE through the split of gNB:
Control- and Userplane split, as well as the split of Centralized Unit and Distributed Unit. RAN3 will now add support for CP-UP split to LTE so that LTE networks can also take advantage of some of the advanced radio architecture functions of 5G.