Samsung Says 5G Release 16 Standards Coming By The End Of 2019

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Samsung executive Sungho Choi took to the stage at 5G Vertical Summit 2018 to reveal that the next iteration of 5G should be finished and submitted to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) by December of 2019, ZDNet reports. For clarity, the ITU is a United Nations body that takes responsibility for addressing issues of development and standards or recommendations-setting with regard to pertinent telecommunications and IT. Mr. Sunho Choi was, of course, referring to Release 16 of the 5G standards, which build on the already finalized Release 15 standards. In particular, those pertain to the use of 5G as the next-gen networking tech applies to connected vehicles, smart factories, and similar industries. Beyond that, the next release will set standards for the formatting and compression of media content over 5G. Among the most prominent technologies that will take advantage of the standards are vehicles that incorporate cellular vehicle-to-everything C-V2X to expand on capabilities of both self-driving automobiles and connected cars with features that will depend on the IoT interconnectivity.

Background: To the contrary, Release 15 predominantly centered around the use of 5G radio technologies, including the 28GHz millimeter-wave spectrum and multi-antenna technologies, for more traditional applications. For example, Release 15 includes 5G non-standalone (NSA) and 5G standalone (SA) standards meant to push mobile networking, such as that used in smartphone, to the next level. Specifically, the first of those standardizes practices associated with 5G implementations that are built on the backbone of prior networking like 4G LTE and work in tandem with those. 5G SA, goes in the other direction, standardizing 5G as it will be used on its own. Looking past enhanced mobile broadband, it also sets up the initial backbone for the IoT and ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC). In summary, it paves the way for more commonly seen consumer level IoT and for much more reliable inter-device communications – mobile or otherwise.

Samsung has, for its part, taken on several roles throughout the process but the most noteworthy of its efforts has chiefly involved work with partners on technology that will connect via 5G. That includes infrastructure technologies 5G SA networking that the company currently wants to see rolled out by next year. Those efforts more recently include work between the Korean tech firm and Qualcomm on the development of 5G small cell solutions. The sites built around that technology is almost unanimously expected to play a key part of the roll-out of 5G because of the few inherent weaknesses it brings to the table. Although millimeter-wave signals are undeniably faster and reduce latency while increasing the overall carrying capacity substantially, it doesn’t do quite as well as might be hoped with regard to overcoming obstacles such as distance and obstructions.


Impact: The introduction and likely approval of Release 16 standards will step things forward yet again. Among the most immediate implications of that will tie directly into autonomous vehicles. For example, not only has Google’s sister company, Waymo, recently attained approval to test completely driver-free vehicles on public roadways. The company also has been conducting trial runs with commercialization aspects intact. 5G could easily be a game-changer for Waymo and for its competitors. What’s more, with Qualcomm and others already hard at work to develop the infrastructure and chipsets required for C-V2X, advances in the AI automotive market are mostly being held back by a lack of support networks. That will almost certainly change very rapidly once 5G standards explicitly designed for that industry are in place. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, factories and other similar industrial businesses will finally be able to take full advantage of AI and IoT implementations.