Summary Report from 3GPP plenaries (mainly RAN) #98e (Electronic meeting, 12 - 16 December 2022)
Hans van der Veen, NEC Laboratories Europe GmbH
- Most Rel-17 RAN4 performance Work Items for non-spectrum topics were closed, but two remain open:
- Extending current NR operation to 71GHz
- Solutions for NR to support non-terrestrial networks (NTN)
- Rel-18 RAN ASN.1 freeze was changed to June 2024 to align with CT
- Rel-18 Stage 2 and Stage 3 (SA/CT) were extended to June 2023 and March 2024 respectively
- No new Rel-18 work was allowed in RAN, except normative follow-up work on earlier studies:
- Expanded and Improved NR Positioning
- Network energy savings for NR
- XR Enhancements for NR
- A normative phase for network verified UE location for NTN (Non-Terrestrial Networks)
- No upscoping of existing Rel-18 work was allowed in RAN
RAN Meeting planning (Endorsed: RP-222730, RP-223528)
No change was made to the original RAN Rel-18 timeline, except alignment of the ASN.1 freeze date with CT.
The first figure is edited from RP-222730 to show the change. The second figure comes from the joint session with SA and CT. For Rel-19, the first figure shows tentative planning in RAN: Workshop in May/June, RAN1/2/3 package approval in December.
Devices not compliant to 3GPP specifications (Summary: RP-223443)
A solution was proposed to handle terminals in the field that are not compliant to 3GPP specifications. It was confirmed that by "non-compliant UE" those UEs are meant that that do not implement mandatory functions. Many companies see this not as a RAN aspect but rather related to the NAS layer. No consensus could be reached.
3GPP submission to IMT-2020 Satellite (Not endorsed WF: RP-223554; Summary: RP-223444)
3GPP discussed submission towards IMT-2020 Satellite. Most companies agreed that the evaluation and submission shall cover Rel-17 NR-NTN and Rel-17 NTN-IoT but no consensus could be reached.
Rel-17 Planning and progress (RAN4 non-spectrum performance work almost completed)
Stage 1: frozen December 2019 with exceptions; Stage 1 work completed by June 2020
RAN work package: approved December 2019
Stage 2: frozen June 2021 with exceptions; Stage 2 work completed by June 2022.
RAN1: frozen December 2021
RAN2/3/4 core functionality: frozen March 2022 with exceptions; RAN2/3/4 core work completed by September 2022.
Stage 3: frozen March 2022 with exceptions; Stage 3 work completed by September 2022.
ASN.1 and open APIs: frozen June 2022. September 2022 version is recommended for implementation.
RAN4: Most performance WIs are now closed. Two open non-spectrum WIs remain, with target date March 2023:
- Perf.: Extending current NR operation to 71GHz (85%)
- Perf.: Solutions for NR to support non-terrestrial networks (NTN) (98%)
Closed Rel-17 Work Items and Study Items (excluding spectrum-related and conformance testing)
- Perf.: Further enhancements on MIMO for NR
- Perf.: NR coverage enhancements
- Perf.: Support of reduced capability NR devices
- Perf.: Enhanced Industrial Internet of Things (IoT) and ultra-reliable low latency communication (URLLC) support for NR
- Perf.: NR small data transmissions in INACTIVE state
- Perf.: NR repeaters
Rel-17 RAN Work Item Summaries (descriptions of features in the release after the work has actually finished)
- RP-223491 NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT)/eMTC (enhanced Machine Type Communication) core & performance requirements for Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN)
Rel-17 SA Work Item Summaries (descriptions of features in the release after the work has actually finished)
- SP-221202 Adapting BEST for use in 5G networks
- SP-221269 5G Multicast-Broadcast User Service Architecture
Rel-18 Planning and progress (ASN.1 freeze changed to June 2024 to align with CT; Stage 2 and Stage 3 +3 months)
Stage 1: frozen December 2021 without exceptions
RAN1/2/3 work package: approved December 2021
RAN4 work package: approved March 2022
Stage 2: freezing target June 2023
RAN1: freezing target September 2023
RAN2/3/4 core functionality: freezing target December 2023
Stage 3: freezing target March 2024
ASN.1 and open APIs: freezing target June 2024 (review date March 2024)
RAN4: freezing target June 2024
Closed Rel-18 Work Items and Study Items (excluding spectrum-related and conformance testing)
- SI: Study on Network energy savings for NR
- SI: Study on Study on expanded and improved NR positioning
- Core: High Power UE support for NR bands n100 and n101 for Rail Mobile Radio (RMR) in Europe (stopped)
- Core: NB-IoT (Narrowband IoT)/eMTC (enhanced Machine Type Communication) core & performance requirements for Non-Terrestrial Networks (NTN)
Rel-18 NR: Ambient IoT (Revised SI: RP-223396; TR skeleton: RP-223526; Summary: RP-223451)
A TR skeleton was agreed. SA1 use cases will be handled in two groupings with the following starting points: Grouping A (Indoor, Outdoor, Indoor/outdoor) and Grouping B (Inventory, Sensors, Positioning, Command). Discussion of CN-related aspects will be under the third objective of the SID. 'Environment of device' can be 'indoor', 'outdoor', 'indoor or outdoor'. 'Basestation characteristic' can be: macro-cell based deployment, micro-cell based deployment, pico-cell base deployment, or none. The study considers Ambient IoT deployment in-band to NR, in guard-band of NR, and standalone band from NR, and FFS: relationship to deployment scenarios. Spectrum in a deployment scenario is: licensed FDD, licensed TDD, unlicensed. FFS: whether the TR will describe different types of device-terminated traffic, e.g. Device-Terminated command and Device-Terminated reporting trigger, and whether to describe relationships between device-originated and device-terminated traffic.
Rel-18 NR: AI/ML for NR air interface (Summary: RP-223507)
The representative sub use cases were confirmed according to RAN1.
Rel-18 NR: Sidelink evolution (Revised SI: RP-222806; Summary: RP-223495)
The FR2 topic is continued as a "study" only objective with both RAN1 and RAN2 involvement. The CA objective will be revisited in March, including the possibility of including it in Rel-18 with minimal WG efforts, or dropping it from Rel-18 but re-considering it in Rel-19. For the SL-U objective, the work should focus on FR1 unlicensed bands (n46 and n96/n102).
Rel-18 NR: Network-controlled repeaters (Revised WI: RP-223505; Summary: RP-223550)
Power control was removed from the core objective. There was no consensus on dynamic power control, and not sufficient support for semi-static power control.
Rel-18 NR: Mobility enhancements (Revised WI: RP-223520; Summary: RP-223460)
The scope was changed for as follows: For CHO including MCG and SCG a solution to avoid unnecessary signalling exchange between source MN and target SN was added, and to study and specify how to reuse the IDLE/INACTIVE mode measurement results which are to be reported during and/or after RRC connection setup/resume in order to improve SCell/SCG setup delay.
Rel-18 NR: Multi-SIM (Revised WI: RP-223492; Summary: RP-223461)
A separate bullet was added in the objective to specify support of Rel-17 MUSIM gaps.
Rel-18 NR: Sidelink relay enhancements (Revised WI: RP-223501; Summary: RP-223462)
The objective was changed to specify mechanisms to support multi-path scenarios.
Rel-18 NR: Support for UAV (Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles) (Revised WI: RP-223545; Summary: RP-223463)
The objective was changed to specify enhancements to NR PC5 and LTE PC5 to support UAV identification broadcast. Due to strong operator concern, operator licensed bands were explicitly excluded.
Rel-18 NR: NTN (Non-Terrestrial Networks) enhancements  (Revised WI: RP-223534; Summary: RP-223552)
A normative phase for network verified UE location was approved.
Rel-18 NR: Further RF requirements enhancement in FR1 (Revised WI: RP-223478; Summary: RP-223466)
The RAN4 recommendation to add band n79 as a target band for 8Rx was agreed.
Rel-18 NR: Requirement for FR2 multi-Rx chain DL reception (Revised WI: RP-223527; Summary: RP-223467)
The L3 measurement delay objective was removed from the scope.
Approved Rel-18 Work Items and Study Items (excluding spectrum-related and conformance testing)
- RP-223549 WI: Expanded and Improved NR Positioning
Keywords: Specify (1) Solutions for support of sidelink positioning (including ranging) in NR systems; (2) Error modelling parameters, signalling, and procedures to support UE-based and LMF-based integrity of RAT-dependent positioning methods; (3) Enhancements for enabling LPHAP use-case 6 as defined in TS 22.104; (4) Support of positioning for UEs with Reduced Capabilities (RedCap UEs); (5) Bandwidth aggregation for positioning measurements across up to three intra-band contiguous carriers; (6) Physical layer measurements and signalling to support NR DL and UL carrier phase positioning for UE-based, UE-assisted, and NG-RAN node assisted positioning; (7) Define extensions of signalling, protocol, and procedure for NR positioning enhancement, as needed for the above objectives.
- RP-223540 WI: Network energy savings for NR
Keywords: Specify (1) SSB-less SCell operation for inter-band CA for FR1 and co-located cells, if found feasible; (2) Enhancement on cell DTX/DRX mechanism; (3) Techniques in spatial and power domains (CSI and beam management related procedures); (4) Mechanism(s) to prevent legacy UEs camping on cells adopting the Rel-18 NES techniques; (5) CHO procedure enhancement(s) in case source/target cell is in NES mode; (6) Inter-node beam activation and enhancements on restricting paging in a limited area; (7) Corresponding RRM/RF core requirements
- RP-223502 WI: XR Enhancements for NR
Keywords: Specify enhancements related to (1) Power saving (DRX support of XR frame rates corresponding to non-integer periodicities); (2) Capacity; (3) XR Awareness
Rel-19 Planning (New)
RAN Workshop: May/June 2023
SA Workshop: Possibly June 2023 (not yet confirmed)
Stage 1: freeze December 2023 (80% normative work by September 2023)
RAN1/2/3 work package: planned to be approved December 2023
RAN4 work package: planned to be approved March 2024
All other deadlines/milestones to be defined, latest by June 2023 for SA/CT