5G, the next generation of mobile connectivity, is now one step closer following news that the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) has successfully approved the first 5G NR specification.

This means that for the first time there’s an agreed standard for 5G NR (New Radio) that all companies can use to develop components - such as chips.  A single standard is more cost effective and means vertical market opportunities.

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Neil J McRae, Chief Architect at BT, commented: “BT welcomes the first significant step to 5G deployment and we remain excited about the further innovations that 5G will bring.

“We are proud to have played a part in this and BT is committed to continuing to drive further 5G standardisation at pace to benefit our customers and communities.”

The 3GPP is a group of telecommunications organisations whose job it is to oversee cellular standards. Members include BT, Huawei, Samsung and Qualcomm. In March 2017 at a meeting in Dubrovnik, 3GPP agreed to accelerate 5G NR standardisation

The specification is part of Release 15, which 3GPP plans to continue to develop, including the addition of support for Standalone 5G NR operation.

Following this development, the mobile industry can start large-scale trials and commercial deployments of 5G NR as early as 2019.

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