Next Version of 5G Standard Finalized
The 3GPP has finalized Release 16, the first major update to the 5G NR standard (Release 15). The new standard has the potential to boost data speeds by supporting new radio frequency bands, and has new features that should improve battery life in 5G devices. The most important new feature is NR-U, which is support for 5G NR operating in unlicensed spectrum, such as that used for Wi-Fi. This includes the new 6 GHz band, a huge new swath of radio waves that just became available for unlicensed use in the US. Release 16 includes support for three different configurations of NR-U: standalone, LAA (license assisted access) where the unlicensed band is an additional carrier to augment a 5G network, or LAA with a 4G LTE network. Another key new feature in Release 16 is wake-up signal (WUS), a new way for a 5G device to "listen" for incoming transmissions when idle, that uses less power. Release 16 also improves cellular positioning, which can be used together with systems like GPS to provide faster and more accurate location data. Finally, integrated access and backhaul (IAB) allows mmWave base stations to be used as both wireless access and backhaul, thereby eliminating the need for new fiber optic lines when densifying a mmWave 5G network.
Nov 2, 2017
HTC today announced the U11 Life, a mid-range handset that resembles the company’s U11 flagship though it tones down specs to reach a reasonable price point. The U11 Life is almost identical to the U11 at a glance, but it trades the U11’s high-quality glass for plastic.
Dec 20, 2017
The 3GPP today ratified the first 5G specification, officially termed Non-Standalone 5G New Radio, or NSA 5G NR. The ratification took place at the 3GPP's RAN#78 meeting in Lisbon, Portugal, and capped off months of conferences to push the spec through before year's end.
Oct 23, 2018
The FCC today proposed two separate actions meant to free up more spectrum for wireless broadband use. The first covers the rules governing the 3.5 GHz band (Citizens Broadband Radio Service).
Jul 1, 2020
T-Mobile US and Dish Network today announced that they have completed the previously-announced sale of Boost, the prepaid arm of Sprint. Dish now owns the Boost brand and takes responsibility for its 9.3 million customer accounts, hundreds of employees, and thousands of independent retailers.
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