Tuesday, 18 June 2019

3GPP Release-16, Release-17 & Beyond...

6G Summit featured quite a few talks from people looking at evolution beyond Release-16. The future releases will still be 5G, maybe become 5.5G, like 3GPP Release-13 which was known as LTE-Advanced Pro officially was unofficially known as 4.5G.


Back at the 6G Summit in Finland, Dr. Peiying Zhu from Huawei looked at the topics being discussed for Release-17 and beyond.


Thanks to Mika Klemettinen for sharing the pictures on Twitter, as the presentation was not shared.

3GPP is working towards defining Release-16. TS 21.916 - Release description; Release 16 is still not yet available on the 3GPP reflector. Once that is available, we will know for sure about all the Rel-16 changes. Release-17 is long way away. Having said that, there is no shortage of discussions as some of these Rel-17 features were discussed in the recent RAN Plenary.
Jungwon Lee, VP, Samsung also shared a summary of 3GPP Release-16 and Rel-17 features at IEEE 5G Summit in San Diego recently. Quite a few interesting features in all the pictures above that we will no doubt look at in the future posts.

3GPP also shared a presentation recently (embedded below), looking at not only Release-15 & 16 but also looking at focus areas for Release-17




Related Posts and Articles:
  • The 3G4G Blog - Ultra Reliability: 5x9s (99.999%) in 3GPP Release-15 vs 6x9s (99.9999%) in 3GPP Release-16
  • The 3G4G Blog - Update from 3GPP on LTE & 5G Mission Critical Communications
  • 3GPP - Release 16
  • Light Reading - 5G Standards Group Struggles to Balance Tech With Politics
  • Eiko Seidel - 5G Mission Critical Networks (Proximity Services in Rel.17)
  • The 3G4G Blog - Slides and Videos from the 1st 6G Wireless Summit - March 2019
  • The 3G4G Blog - Couple of talks by NTT Docomo on 5G and Beyond (pre-6G)
  • The 3G4G Blog - China Telecom: An examination of the current industrial trends and an outlook of 6G

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

New Tutorial on 5G Spectrum


We made a new tutorial on 5G spectrum. It's in 2 different formats. Short version (~13 mins) or Long version (~31 mins). Instead of embedding the slides/videos here, I am providing links to the 5G section on 3G4G page below.

Short Version (~13 mins) - click here

Long Version (~31 mins) - click here


Related posts:



Sunday, 2 June 2019

Couple of talks by NTT Docomo on 5G and Beyond (pre-6G)


The Japanese operator, NTT Docomo is a very bold MNO. Not only do they do interesting research but they are very open about what they have been doing and share it publicly. For example, last month they announced development of a safe, blade-free drone propelled by Ultrasonic Vibrations (tweet). This was just amazing as it has a potential to use drones in many new areas where the conventional drones are deemed too dangerous. This is why I was very pleased to see couple of talks by Docomo available online.

The first one is by Takehiro Nakamura, SVP and General Manager of the 5G Laboratories in NTT DOCOMO, Inc. at the 6G Summit in Finland. Slides available here. Video embedded below




The next one is by Seizo Onoe, Chief Technology Architect, NTT DOCOMO, INC. and President, DOCOMO Technology, Inc. from Brooklyn 5G Summit. Unfortunately the slides are not shared but the video is worth a watch below.





Related Posts:

Monday, 27 May 2019

Bandwidth Part (BWP) in 5G New Radio (NR)


I made a short tutorial explaining the concept of Bandwidth Part in 5G a while back. Slides and video embedded below.







Further Reading:

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Presentations on Macro Cells and Millimetre-wave Technology from recent CW (Cambridge Wireless) events


CW (Cambridge Wireless) held a couple of very interesting events from 2 very popular groups.

The first one was on "5G wide area coverage: macro cells – the why and the how". This event looked at the design and optimisation of the macro cell layer and its role within future heterogeneous networks. You can access the presentations for limited time on CW website here.

The presentations available are:
Related posts that may be of interest:


The second one was on "Commercialising millimetre-wave technology". The event reviewed the commercial opportunities at millimetre-wave frequencies, what bands are available and what licensing is needed. You can access the presentations on CW website for limited time here.

The presentations available are:

We recently made a video to educate people outside our industry about non-mmWave 5G. It's embedded below.


Sunday, 19 May 2019

VoLTE Hacking


The 10th Annual HITB Security Conference took place from the 6th till the 10th of May 2019 in The Netherlands. The theme for the conference this year is 'The Hacks of Future Past'. One of the presentations was on the topic 'VoLTE Phreaking' by Ralph Moonen, Technical Director at Secura.

The talk covered variety of topics:

  • A little history of telephony hacking (in NL/EU)
  • The landscape now
  • Intercepting communications in 2019
  • Vulnerabilities discovered: some new, some old
  • An app to monitor traffic on a phone

The talk provides details on how VoLTE can potentially be hacked. In a lot of instances it is some or the other misconfigurations that makes VoLTE less secure. One of the slides that caught my attention was the differences in VoLTE signaling from different operators (probably due to different vendors) as shown above.

Anyway, I am not going into more details here. The presentation is available here.


The thread in the Tweet above also provided some good references on VoLTE hacking. They are as follows:



Related Posts:


Wednesday, 15 May 2019

When will 2G & 3G be switched off now that 5G is here?


I wrote this blog post '2G / 3G Switch Off: A Tale of Two Worlds' back in Oct 2017. Since then I have continued to see the same trend in 2G/3G shutdown announcements. Based on that post and also taking the GSMA Mobile Economy Report into account, we have created a short tutorial on 2G/3G switch off and how the trends are affected by the launch of KaiOS based Smart Feature phones. Presentation and video embedded below. Would love to hear your thoughts.





Related posts:

Monday, 13 May 2019

China Telecom: An examination of the current industrial trends and an outlook of 6G


Last month I posted about the slides and videos from 6G Wireless Summit. Some of the videos were added later on. The presentation by Dr. Qi Bi, President of China Telecom Technology Innovation Center and the CTO of China Telecom Research Institute, was not shared but the video of the talk is available and it is quite insightful.


Of the many gems from the talk, I wanted to highlight couple of things. One was the ARPU, that Dr. Bi pointed out has remained the same, regardless of the technology. The other being 5G performance targets, some can be achieved, some are achievable at a price and some are just not achievable. This should be taken into account while designing 6G.


Let me know what you think

Related posts:

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Examples of 5G Use Cases & Applications


I recently did another 5G training for CW (Cambridge Wireless) & UK5G. One of the sections in that was about Use Cases. A very common questions that people ask is what can 5G do that 4G can't. The answer frankly is sometimes not very straightforward.


While you can get a very high speed and very reasonable latency 4G system, it's not necessarily a commonplace. Similarly 5G is a bit over-hyped. There is a lot of potential in the technology but the theory may not translate into practice. Take for example millimeter wave. There is a large amount of bandwidth that can be available to each operator in this spectrum. The laws of physics however restrict how far mmWave can travel and also the fact that mmWave does not penetrate through glass, walls, etc. Does that mean that an indoor 5G system would be required to complement an outdoor one? Would Wi-Fi be able to complement cellular in-building? There are many unanswered questions at the moment.

There is also the debate around 5G icon displayed on your smartphones. When you see 5G, would it really be 5G or just re-branded 4G? Light Reading has explained this issue nicely here.

So while there are many potential applications & use cases that will benefit from 5G in the long run, the answers are not that easily available today. Anyhow, the collection of videos and slides embedded below will provide you with an insight on how different vendors and operators are looking at potentially using 5G.






The latest version of these slides are available to download from UK5G website here.

Monday, 6 May 2019

Non-public networks (NPN) - Private Networks by another name


3GPP TS 22.261, Service requirements for the 5G system; Stage 1 gives a definition of non-public network which is simply defined as 'a network that is intended for non-public use'. Section 6.25 provides more info

Non-public networks are intended for the sole use of a private entity such as an enterprise, and may be deployed in a variety of configurations, utilising both virtual and physical elements. Specifically, they may be deployed as completely standalone networks, they may be hosted by a PLMN, or they may be offered as a slice of a PLMN.

In any of these deployment options, it is expected that unauthorised UEs, those that are not associated with the enterprise, will not attempt to access the non-public network, which could result in resources being used to reject that UE and thereby not be available for the UEs of the enterprise. It is also expected that UEs of the enterprise will not attempt to access a network they are not authorised to access. For example, some enterprise UEs may be restricted to only access the non-public network of the enterprise, even if PLMN coverage is available in the same geographic area. Other enterprise UEs may be able to access both a non-public network and a PLMN where specifically allowed.

The requirements section is interesting too:
  • The 5G system shall support non-public networks.
  • The 5G system shall support non-public networks that provide coverage within a specific geographic area.
  • The 5G system shall support both physical and virtual non-public networks. 
  • The 5G system shall support standalone operation of a non-public network, i.e. a non-public network may be able to operate without dependency on a PLMN.
  • Subject to an agreement between the operators and service providers, operator policies and the regional or national regulatory requirements, the 5G system shall support for non-public network subscribers:
    • access to subscribed PLMN services via the non-public network;
    • seamless service continuity for subscribed PLMN services between a non-public network and a PLMN;
    • access to selected non-public network services via a PLMN;
    • seamless service continuity for non-public network services between a non-public network and a PLMN.
  • A non-public network subscriber to access a PLMN service shall have a service subscription using 3GPP identifiers and credentials provided or accepted by a PLMN.
  • The 5G system shall support a mechanism for a UE to identify and select a non-public network.
    • NOTE: Different network selection mechanisms may be used for physical vs virtual non-public networks.
  • The 5G system shall support identifiers for a large number of non-public networks to minimize collision likelihood between assigned identifiers.
  • The 5G system shall support a mechanism to prevent a UE with a subscription to a non-public network from automatically selecting and attaching to a PLMN or non-public network it is not authorised to select.
  • The 5G system shall support a mechanism to prevent a UE with a subscription to a PLMN from automatically selecting and attaching to a non-public network it is not authorised to select. 
  • The 5G system shall support a change of host of a non-public network from one PLMN to another PLMN without changing the network selection information stored in the UEs of the non-public network.


5G ACIA (5G Alliance for Connected Industries and Automation), a Working Party of ZVEI (German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers’ Association) published a White Paper on '5G Non-Public Networks for Industrial Scenarios'.

This paper describes four industrial (IIoT) deployment scenarios for 3GPP-defined 5G non-public networks. The paper also considers key aspects, in particular service attributes that can help to highlight the differences between these scenarios. In contrast to a network that offers mobile network services to the general public, a 5G non-public network (NPN, also sometimes called a private network) provides 5G network services to a clearly defined user organisation or group of organisations.

The PDF of the white paper is available here.