5G plans just hit the accelerator


The international body crafting the 5G standard has approved an accelerated roadmap that could see large-scale trials and deployments in 2019 instead of 2020.

At a meeting this week in Dubrovnik, Croatia, the 3GPP signed off on a 5G work plan that several top mobile operators and network vendors came out in favor of last week. It would create an interim 5G specification before the full-scale standard is completed.

It’s important to get the next generation of mobile out into the world soon because users keep increasing their data consumption, said Lorenzo Casaccia, vice president of technical standards at Qualcomm, in a blog post on Thursday. That’s why his company is backing the in-between spec, which is now expected to be done by the end of this year and available in software about three months later.

Qualcomm and most other big players endorsed this plan just before last week’s Mobile World Congress, with a few holding back. Nokia and Verizon, the two biggest names that weren’t on board then, are now there. More than 40 companies, including Intel, Ericsson, Huawei and Samsung, back the new plan.

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