The completion of Rel-16 has been moved from March to June 2020, a 3-month shift, while still ensuring that the IMT-2020 timeline is met. 3GPP is very positive about meeting the deadlines.
In the meantime, Rel-17 is starting up on Stage 2 and despite the timeline adjustments the work will stick to the final deadline. In SA, some stage 1 requirements have been collected for Rel-18 but no timeline has yet been set.
Adjustments are being made to new support services for newcomers, including industry verticals, building on the high levels of interest and discussions at the newcomer sessions during 3GPP Plenary meetings. While the mentoring process is stalled due to COVID-19, informal discussions with newcomers will pick up, as will interactions with liaison representatives. Progress is also expected on making study and work items more traceable. All these activities will soon be back to full speed.
Rel-17 brings real changes to the basic system and equipment through RAN and CT for the rollout of new products. It is a guarantee that the verticals will have a base to work on. WGs like SA6 (mission-critical applications) are very confident about Stage 2 having the right people in the room (physical or virtual) to progress on their multi-faceted work. There is also good collaboration between SA2 (architecture), SA6 and CT to ensure a seamless flow of activities.
#5 - Associations are good entry point for verticals
Companies and other organisations join 3GPP and contribute to it as individuals. However, some verticals are organised into associations that collect use-case requirements as potential inputs, which gives a stronger weight to the work done by verticals in 3GPP. Many such associations are Market Representation Partners (MRPs) of 3GPP and have a special status within it.
The best time to join is when companies have already looked at what functionalities and features have already been covered and know what they can bring to 3GPP.
SA1 - Services
is the starting point, the place to share requirements through a coherent set of specifications. Attending the 3GPP plenaries is also a good step to see what's going on and how the diverse groups work together across different phases.
Another important point to note is that 3GPP follows a decoupling approach to study and work items not included in a given 3GPP release. In these cases there are two options: they are not brought in again, also because they have been resolved in other ways; they are brought into the next release with new requirements for new evaluation.
On top of the core activities within 3GPP, a sub-group of MRPs also work together to further support the integration of industry vertical needs into the standardisation process. This is same sub-set of MRPs that run this online standards tracker and run a series of webinars and workshops and bringing together standards and sector specialists.
Presentations and Webinar Recordings
The webinar recordings presentations from 3GPP are available here:
More information on progress is reported in our SA