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.
Feb 9, 2021
Qualcomm today introduced a suite of new modem and radio chips to power the next generation of higher-end 5G phones and devices. The company's new flagship 5G modem chip is the Snapdragon X65 5G Modem-RF System , which is the first in the world to support data rates of up to 10 Gbps.
Sep 15, 2021
T-Mobile phones will soon display a new icon in the status bar to indicate when they are connected to 5G in a higher frequency band that offers faster data speeds. The icon will appear first on the newest iPhones, and the company is working with phone makers "to include this update on as many devices as possible".
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).
Sep 17, 2019
The FCC this week granted permission for initial commercial service to commence in the unlicensed part of band 48, also known as CBRS, a radio frequency band spanning the range of 3550 - 3700 MHz. In a new and unique arrangement, consumer phones will be able to cellular technologies like LTE in an unlicensed band that also has incumbent users such as the military and satellite operators.
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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