3GPP is the standard-setting organization for all 5G technologies. Recently, they approved Release 16 of the cellular radio specification. This spec will carry 5G beyond current mobile broadband capabilities which will facilitate manufacturing and enterprise-wide deployments. The release establishes standards for both shared and unlicensed spectrum which can power applications primarily used in private networks that operate in factory settings. The article that follows provides more details on the finalized release.
In a milestone for 5G, global wireless standards body 3GPP finalized Release 16 on July 3, its second set of specifications for 5G New Radio (NR) technology.
Release 15 set the foundation to enable commercial standards-based 5G NR deployments, with a focus on enhanced mobile broadband. Release 16 targets enhancements for new capabilities and expansion into different verticals, including support for unlicensed spectrum, industrial IoT and automotive applications, and integrated access and backhaul (IAB).
3GPP already delayed Release 16 by three months until June 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as usual face-to-face meetings were canceled and groups had to find new ways to collaborate amidst travel restrictions and limits on gatherings.