The Global 5G Test Summit, which was supported by ITU, GSMA, 3GPP, NGMN, and GTI, was held in Barcelona with a goal of creating joint cooperation among leading names in the industry in establishing support for a unified global 5G standard. To achieve this single standard there would have to be cooperation between telecom operators, vendors and vertical industry partners in the testing and trial phase to accomplish a unified end-to-end ecosystem. Among those who all agreed with this path in a joint statement were AT&T, China Mobile, NTT DOCOMO, Vodafone, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Keysight, MediaTek, Nokia, Qualcomm, Rohde & Schwarz, ZTE, and Datang . Verizon who is working on 5G testing was not a part of the statement and no reason was given as to why.
The immediate goals the summit aimed to accomplish was to have the companies commit to a high quality and competitive 3GPP 5G specification by June 2018 for its Release 15 and then again December 2019 for Release 16. The group wants to build an ecosystem that will include seamless global roaming and increase the global market scale at low cost. Early interoperability testing is underway for different use cases for Release 15. Participants are also working towards innovations in other 5G areas such as 3D-MIMO LTE, NB-IoT/eMTC, and C-V2X.
Tom Keathley of AT&T and Durga Malladi of Qualcomm both said in separate statements that unity among all the companies is critical to ensure the fastest path to large scale deployment of global 5G and both companies are dedicated its continuing cooperation in this effort. Keathley took it one step further in declaring that using pre-standard, fragmented 5G standards would be nothing more than a roadblock. Full cooperation with one another and creating standards together will be the cornerstone of 5G’s success and it will create new business opportunities according to Nokia’s CTO Hossein Moiin. The day before Mobile World Congress 2017 several companies signed off on a proposal for the 5G New Radio specification that would expedite it. Supporters of the proposal were AT&T, NTT DoCoMo, SK Telecom, Vodafone, Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies, British Telecom, Telstra, Korea Telecom, Intel, LG Uplus, KDDI, LG Electronics, Telia Company, Swisscom, TIM, Etisalat Group, Huawei, Sprint, Vivo, ZTE and Deutsche Telekom, but not Verizon or Nokia.