Summary of 3GPP TSG RAN Rel-18 Workshop June 2021

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Summary of 3GPP TSG RAN Rel-18 Workshop June 2021

Work is underway on 3GPP Release 18, Advanced 5G, with a first internal workshop from 28 June to 2 July on radio specific content  aimed at identifying priority topics in terms of evolved mobile broadband (eMBB), non-eMBB evolution and cross-functionalities for both. 5G-IA Pre-Standardization WG member, Hans ven der Veen, reports on the main outcomes with reference also to the preparatory workshop hosted by 5G-IA, 5GAA, 5G-ACIA and PSCE with its focus on Release 18 for Industry Verticals. 

Advanced Plans for 5G  - An Overview 

The workshop, 28 June-2 July 2021, is the start of a process on the new 3GPP release with priority topics being selected at the Plenary in December 2021 with cross-group Rel-18 Package Approval, spanning all Technical Specification Groups with the sole exception of WG RAN 4 (Radio Performance and Protocol Aspects) where package approval set to follow, in March 2022.

The workshop reviewed over 500 company and partner organizìsation’s presentations for topic selection for near and longer-term commercial needs. All topics are subject to further discussion and justification aiming for, wherever feasible, a set of balanced concepts in the evolution towards 5G-Advanced, including vertical domain expansion. It was organised as a mix of representative presentations and Q&A-type inputs, with 45 presentations out of the 500 original submissions selected for discussion.

Spotlight on Industry Verticals 

This summary report picks on the 5G User Workshop on Rel-18 for Industry Verticals on 23 June 2021, organised  in preparation for the planned work within 3GPP and designed to help set the right direction for the vertical domains presenting their prioirty requirements. The following sectors were represented at the 23 June workshop: 

  • Automotive: 5GAA, based on an association-wide consensus on priority needs moving forward.
  • Broadcast/media: 5G-MAG and the BBC
  • Energy and utilities: EUTC and Samsung. 
  • Manufacturing/IIoT: 5G-ACIA and Siemens
  • Maritime: IALA and Synctechno
  • Public safety: TCCA and PSCE
  • Rail transportation: UIC, Swiss Federal Railway
  • Satellite: ESOA and Thales

The TSG RAN workshop brought together 192 organisations with 60 coming from verticals: aerospace/satellite, media broadcast, automotive, public safety, industry/manufacturing, utilities, health, railways, with some belonging to several sectors, a primary example of how the 5G User Event series has been instrumental in supporting vertical industry participation in 3GPP. 

Presentations at the TSG RAN workshop directly related to the preparatory event span: 

  • 5G-SOLUTIONS, Telecom Italia SpA: requirements to 3GPP RAN Release 18 (RWS-210034, general).
  • TCCA: Input for 3GPP Rel-18 RAN workshop (RWS-210492, general).
  • Robert Bosch GmbH (5G-ACIA): 5G-Advanced RAN Enhancements for Verticals (RWS-210215 general).
  • 5GAA: Input to 3GPP Rel-18 Workshop (RWS-210360, V2X).
  • 5G-MAG: Proposals for 3GPP RAN-Rel-18 (RWS-210205, broadcast/MBS).
  • Thales Alenia Space: NTN in Rel-18 (RWS-210074, personal IoT).

Official outcomes and next steps

  • Endorsed Timeline:
    • 18-months per WG is seen as the ideal duration for Release 18 provided that F2F meetings resumed during that timeframe. Such a timeframe may not be feasible in the face of on-going e-Meetings should travel restrictions remain in place. 
    • Start date is expected in Q1- /Q2-2022.
  • Endorsed Topic List:
    • Reference document RWS-210659 [2].
    • Topics selected for email discussion 30.08-03.09.2021:
      • Evolution of downlink MIMO, e.g., further enhancements to CSI; evolved handling of multi-TRP; CPE-specific considerations.
      • Uplink enhancements, e.g., 4Tx operation; enhanced multi-panel/multi-TRP uplink operation; frequency-selective precoding; further coverage enhancements.
      • Mobility Enhancements, e.g., Layer 1/Layer 2 based inter cell mobility; DAPS (Dual Active Protocol Stack)/CHO (Conditional HandOver) related improvements; FR2 (frequency range 2) specific enhancements.
      • Additional topological improvements (IAB and smart repeaters), e.g. Mobile IAB (Integrated Access Backhaul)/Vehicle amounted relay (VMR); Smart repeater with side control information.
      • Enhancements for XR (eXtended Reality), e.g. KPIs/QoS, application awareness operation, and aspects related to power consumption, coverage, capacity, and mobility.
      • Sidelink enhancements (excluding positioning), e.g. SL enhancements (e.g., unlicensed, power saving enhancements, efficiency enhancements, etc.); SL relay enhancements; Co-existence of LTE V2X & NR V2X.
      • RedCap evolution (excluding positioning), e.g. New use cases and new UE bandwidths; Power saving enhancements.
      • NTN (Non-Terrestrial Networks) evolution, including both NR & IoT (Internet of Things) aspects.
      • Evolution for broadcast and multicast services, including both LTE based 5G broadcast and NR MBS (Multicast Broadcast Services).
      • Expanded and improved Positioning, e.g., Sidelink positioning/ranging; improved accuracy, integrity and power efficiency; RedCap positioning.
      • Evolution of duplex operation, e.g., deployment scenarios, including duplex mode; interference management.
      • AI (Artificial Intelligence)/ML (Machine Learning), e.g., Air interface (e.g., Use cases to focus, KPIs and Evaluation methodology, network and UE involvement, etc.); NG RAN.
      • Network energy savings, e.g., KPIs and evaluation methodology, focus areas and potential solutions.
      • Additional RAN1/2/3 candidate topics, Set 1: UE power savings; Enhancing and extending the support beyond 52.6GHz; CA (Carrier Aggregation)/DC (Dual Connectivity) enhancements (e.g., MR MC (Multi Radio/Multi Connectivity), etc.; Flexible spectrum integration; RIS (Reconfigurable Intelligent Surfaces); Others (RAN1 led).
      • Additional RAN1/2/3 candidate topics, Set 2: UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle); IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things)/URLLC (Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communication); <5MHz in dedicated spectrum; Other IoT enhancements/types; HAPS (High Altitude Platform System); network coding.
      • Additional RAN1/2/3 candidate topics, Set 3: Inter gNB coordination, e.g. Inter gNB/gNB DU multi carrier operation; Inter gNB/gNB DU multi TRP operation; Enhancement for resiliency of gNB CU; Network slicing enhancements; MUSIM (Multiple Universal Subscriber Identity Modules); UE aggregation; Security enhancements; SON (Self Organizing Networks)/MDT (Minimization of Drive Test); Others (RAN2/3 led).
      • Potential RAN4 enhancements.
    • Other topics are open for discussion at RAN#93e, 13-17-09.2021.
  • Next Steps at 3GPP Meetings:
    • RAN, CT and SA will jointly discuss Rel-18 (e.g. timeline and system aspects) during the September plenaries #93-
    • RAN will continue to discuss Rel-18 'core' content by email and during plenary meetings until and including December (two-week RAN#94 meeting).
    • RAN will dedicate the 1st week of RAN#94 to create a (mostly) RAN1/RAN2/RAN3 work package.
    • During the 2nd week of RAN#94, the work package will be finalised and approved.
    • Rel-18 RAN4 content will be discussed by email and a RAN4 package is planned to be approved in March 2022 (RAN#95 meeting).


The 5G-IA Pre-Standardization WG extends it thanks to member and RAN specialist, Hans van der Veen, NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH, for his detailed summary report. 


Mapping of Common Requirements
RAN Rel-18
Progress Tracker
3GPP Plenary Debriefs

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