Executive Summary: IMT-2020.SPECS defined, submission status, and 3GPP’s RIT submissions

Introduction – IMT-2020.SPECS:

The forthcoming ITU-R recommendation “IMT-2020.SPECS” identifies the terrestrial radio interface technologies of International Mobile Telecommunications-2020 (IMT-2020) and provides the detailed radio interface specifications.

IMPORTANT: This new ITU-R standard will NOT include IMT 2020 non-radio aspects, such as 5G Core Network, Signaling, Network Slicing, Virtualization, Network Management/Maintenance, Security/Privacy, Fault Detection/Recovery, Codecs, Interworking, etc.

This new recommendation was developed by ITU-R WP5D (aka 5D) over the last five years. It consists of IMT 2020 (5G) Radio Interface Technologies (RIT) and Sets of Radio Interface Technologies (SRIT).

The final IMT-2020.SPECS is expected to be approved in late November 2020 at the ITU-R SG 5 (parent of WP 5D) meeting.  Here’s the related ITU-R meeting schedule for the remainder of 2020:

WP 5D

36

5 October 20

16 October 20

Geneva

10 day meeting

WP 5D

36bis

17 November 20

19 November 20

Geneva

Focused WP 5D meeting on the technology aspects and related administrative activities for finalization of Step 8 of the IMT-2020 process for draft new Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS]

SG 5

23 November 20

24 November 20

Geneva

Anticipated dates

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IMT 2020 RIT/SRIT submission status:

IMT 2020 RIT submissions from 3GPP/China/Korea [1.], TSDSI [2], DECT/ETSI, and Nufront are all being considered by 5D.  The latter two submissions have defined their own version of 5G New Radio (NR) as they do NOT use 3GPP’s 5G NR.

Note 1.  ATIS found the China and Korea IMT 2020 RIT/SRIT submissions to be technically identical to 3GPPs.  Please see IMT-2020 Consensus Building and Decision by 5D for more detail.

Note 2.  The TSDSI submission uses 3GPP’s 5GNR but also ADDS functional capability to support Low Mobility Large Cell (LMLC).

->Hence, there are potentially three different 5G NRs (as the basis for the respective RIT submissions) that may be standardized in IMT-2020.SPECS if the DECT/ETSI and Nufront submissions achieve final approval from WP5D. 5D requested additional work for both DECT/ETSI and Nufront RIT submissions before they can be progressed to the next step at 5D’s October 2020 meeting.  Those submissions will NOT be included in the first IMT-2020.SPECS recommendation 5D will send to ITU-R SG5 in late November 2020.  If 5D subsequently approves them, they will be included in a revision of IMT-2020.SPECS in 2021.

At its July virtual meeting, 5D determined that the IMT-2020 candidate technology submission proposals from DECT/ETSI and Nufront will require additional evaluation to conclude their respective final assessment through Steps 6 and 7 of the current process. They will, therefore, on an exceptional basis continue in the process, rewinding to Step 4 in order to consider additional material.

– Candidate SRIT submission from ETSI (TC DECT) and DECT Forum (Acknowledgement of submission under Step 3 of the IMT-2020 process in IMT‑2020/17(Rev.1)).
– Candidate RIT submission from Nufront (Acknowledgement of submission under Step 3 of the IMT-2020 process in IMT-2020/18(Rev.1)).

The process extension for these two candidate technology submissions will not impact the schedule for the first release of Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] and the inclusion of the identified Proponent submissions identified below (IMT-2020 RIT/SRIT Submissions being progressed by 5D) that will proceed into Step 8.   If these two proponent submission satisfy 5D requirements, they might then be included in a 2021 revision of IMT-2020.SPECS, but they won’t be in the initial recommendation expected to be approved at the end of 2020.

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Sidebar: DECT-2020 NR

The “DECT-2020 NR” Radio Interface Technology (RIT) is designed to provide a slim but powerful technology foundation for wireless applications deployed in various use cases and markets. It utilizes the frequency bands below 6 GHz identified for International Mobile Telecommunication (IMT) in the ITU Radio Regulations.

The DECT-2020 radio technology includes, but is not limited to: Cordless Telephony, Audio Streaming Applications, Professional Audio Applications, consumer and industrial applications of Internet of Things (IoT) such as industry and building automation and monitoring, and in general solutions for local area deployments for Ultra-Reliable Low Latency (URLLC) and massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC) as envisioned by ITU-R for IMT-2020.

–>ETSI supports this DECT RIT mainly because of its URLLC capabilities, according to an email received from ETSI.

DECT-2020 NR is claimed by its sponsor to be a technology foundation is targeted for local area wireless applications, which can be deployed anywhere by anyone at any time. The technology supports autonomous and automatic operation with minimal maintenance effort. Where applicable, interworking functions to wide area networks (WAN). e.g. PLMN, satellite, fibre, and internet protocols foster the vision of a network of networks. DECT-2020 NR can be used as foundation for: Very reliable Point-to-Point and Point-to-Multipoint Wireless Links provisioning (e.g. cable replacement solutions);  Local Area Wireless Access Networks following a star topology as in classical DECT deployment supporting URLLC use cases, and Self-Organizing Local Area Wireless Access Networks following a mesh network topology, which enables to support mMTC use cases.

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5D has approved the 3GPP and TSDSI RIT/SRIT submissions to be progressed to the next step at their recent e-Meeting which ended July 9, 2020.  From the July 13, 2020 DRAFT NEW REPORT ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.OUTCOME]:

1.] Summary of the evaluations received for the candidate RIT submission (Document IMT-2020/14) from 3GPP Proponent:

There were ten relevant evaluation reports received for the candidate 3GPP RIT submission. The relevant received evaluation reports confirmed that the candidate 3GPP RIT proposal in IMT-2020/14 fulfils the minimum requirements for the five test environments comprising the three usage scenarios.

2.] The evaluated candidate RIT proposal (Document IMT-2020/19(Rev.1)) from TSDSI is assessed by ITU-R as satisfactorily fulfilling the minimum requirements for the five test environments comprising the three usage scenarios. Thus, this TSDSI RIT proposal is ‘a qualifying RIT’ and therefore will go forward for further consideration in Step 7.

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IMT-2020 RIT/SRIT Submissions being progressed by 5D:

Each of the following IMT-2020 candidate technology submission proposals will be accepted for inclusion in the standardization phase described in Step 8.

IMT-2020/13 – Acknowledgement of candidate SRIT submission from 3GPP proponent under step 3 of the IMT-2020 process.

IMT-2020/14 – Acknowledgement of candidate RIT submission from 3GPP proponent under step 3 of the IMT-2020 process.

IMT-2020/15 – Acknowledgement of candidate RIT submission from China (People’s Republic of) under step 3 of the IMT-2020 process.

IMT-2020/16 – Acknowledgement of candidate RIT submission from Korea (Republic of) under Step 3 of the IMT-2020 process

IMT-2020/19(Rev.1) – Acknowledgement of candidate RIT submission from TSDSI under step 3 of the IMT-2020 process.

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However, there is still confusion (at least for this author) as to whether the China and Korea submissions (which were stated to be technically identical to 3GPP submissions) will ultimately be included in IMT-2020.SPECs as independent/separate text or merged with the 3GPP RIT/SRIT submissions.  That may be decided at the October or November 2020 5D meetings.

–>If they are all included as separate texts, it will pose a version change challenge with 3 technically identical sets of IMT 2020 RIT/SRITs with each proponent able to revise the spec at any time, independent of the others.

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Overview of IMT-2020.SPECS:

The radio interface specifications in IMT-2020.SPECS detail the feature and parameters of IMT-2020. This Recommendation indicates that IMT-2020 enables worldwide compatibility, international roaming, and access to the services under all three usage scenarios, including enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine type communications (mMTC) and ultra-reliable and low latency communications (URLLC).

The capabilities of IMT-2020 include:
– very high peak data rate;
– very high and guaranteed user experienced data rate;
– quite low air interface latency;
– quite high mobility while providing satisfactory quality of service;
– enabling massive connection in very high density scenario;
– very high energy efficiency for network and device side;
– greatly enhanced spectral efficiency;
– significantly larger area traffic capacity;
– high spectrum and bandwidth flexibility;
– ultra high reliability and good resilience capability;
– enhanced security and privacy.

These features enable IMT-2020 to address evolving user and industry needs.  The capabilities of IMT-2020 systems are being continuously enhanced in line with user and industry trends, and consistent with technology developments.

IMT-2020 Frequencies and Arrangements:

It’s vitally important to recognize that the frequencies to be used by IMT-2020 RITs, including five sets of mmWave bands, will NOT be in IMT-2020.SPECS.  Instead, they will be included in a revision of ITU-R M.1036 Recommendation (see below).  At their July 2020 meeting, 5D could not reach consensus on the draft revision of M.1036, because the Russian Federation expressed concerns about the current version of the revision.  Hence, this work item was carried over to 5D’s October 2020 meeting.

The highly touted and ultra hyped mmWave frequency arrangements (five such frequency arrangements were recommended by WRC 19) have yet to be added to the M.1036 revision.  Frequency arrangements in the bands:  24.25-27.5 GHz, 37-43.5 GHz, 45.5-47 GHz, 47.2-48.2GHz, and 66-71 GHz will all use unpaired frequency arrangement with Time Division Duplexing (TDD) used to separate transmit and receive channels for full duplex communications.

Related ITU-R References:

– Recommendation ITU-R M.1036 Frequency arrangements for implementation of the terrestrial component of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) in the bands identified for IMT in the Radio Regulations

– Recommendation ITU-R M.2083 IMT vision -Framework and overall objectives of the future development of IMT-2020 and beyond

– Recommendation ITU-R M.1822 Framework for services supported by IMT

– Report ITU-R M.2320 Future technology trends of terrestrial IMT systems

– Report ITU-R M.2370 IMT traffic estimates for the years 2020-2030

– Report ITU-R M.2376 Technical feasibility of IMT in bands above 6 GHz

Report ITU-R M.2411 Requirements, evaluation criteria and submission templates for the development of IMT-2020

– Report ITU-R M.2410 Requirements related to technical performance for IMT-2020 radio interface(s)

– Report ITU-R M.2412 Guidelines for evaluation of radio interface technologies for IMT-2020

– Resolution ITU-R 56 Naming for International Mobile Telecommunications

– Resolution ITU-R 65 Principles for the process of development of IMT for 2020 and beyond

– Document IMT-2020/1 IMT-2020 Background 2020

– Document IMT-2020/2(Rev.2) Submission and evaluation process and consensus building for IMT-2020

– Document IMT-2020/20 Process and the use of Global Core Specification (GCS), references, and related certifications in conjunction with Recommendation ITU‑R M.IMT-[2020.SPECS]

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IMT-2020 Independent Evaluation Groups:

Under Step 4 of IMT-2020 process, candidate RITs or SRITs were evaluated by Independent Evaluation Groups (IEG) that registered with the ITU-R in conformance with the process. In this step, the candidate RITs or SRITs were assessed based on Reports ITU-R M.2411 and ITU-R M.2412.

The IEGs utilized the defined ITU-R evaluation methodology and criteria established in the relevant ITU-R Reports covering IMT-2020. ITU-R concluded that the IEGs had fulfilled their role in the process and that the inclusion of views from organizations external to the ITU‑R.

Considering the requirements, evaluation criteria and submission templates for the development of IMT-2020 included in Report ITU-R M.2411, the minimum requirements related to technical performance for IMT‑2020 radio interface(s) in Report ITU-R M.2410, and the guidelines for evaluation of radio interface technologies for IMT‑2020 are included in Report ITU‑R M.2412, the conclusions have been reached for each of the IMT-2020 RIT/SRITs submitted by 3GPP, China, Korea, TSDSI (India), DECT/ETSI, and Nufront.  Those detailed conclusions are beyond the scope of this article.

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Overview of 3GPP’s radio interface technologies (E-UTRA/LTE and 5G NR):

The IMT-2020 RIT/SRIT specifications known as “5G” have been developed by 3GPP and consist of LTE and 5G NR Releases 15, 16, and beyond.

In 3GPP terminology, the term Evolved-UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA) is also used to signify the LTE radio interface. 5G is a Set of Radio Interface Technologies (RITs) consisting of E-UTRA/LTE as one component RIT and (5G) NR as the other component RIT. Both components are designed for operation in IMT defined spectrum.

5G fulfills all technical performance requirements in all five selected IMT-2020 test environments : Indoor Hotspot – enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), Dense Urban – eMBB, Rural – eMBB, Urban Macro – Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communication (URLLC) and Urban Macro – massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC).

5G also fulfills the service and the spectrum requirements. Both component RITs, NR and E-UTRA/LTE, utilize the frequency bands below 6 GHz identified for International Mobile Telecommunication (IMT) in the ITU Radio Regulations. In addition, the NR component RIT can also utilize the frequency bands above 6 GHz, i.e., above 24.25 GHz, identified for IMT in the ITU Radio Regulations. The complete set of standards for the terrestrial radio interface of IMT-2020 identified as 5G includes not only the key characteristics of IMT-2020 but also the additional capabilities of 5G both of which are continuing to be enhanced.

ITU-R WP5D’s conclusion on 3GPP’s 5G SRIT and 5G RIT is shown in the table below:

Radio Interface Technologies:

NAME: (3GPP 5G:1 SRIT)

Proponents (submission in):

3GPP Proponent (IMT-2020/13)2

Determination whether the RIT or SRIT meets the requirements of Res. ITU‑R 65, resolves 6 e) and f), for the five test environments comprising the three usage scenarios

YES
(Requirements met for five test environments)

Inclusion in the standardization phase described in Step 8

YES

Radio Interface Technologies:

NAME: (3GPP 5G:3 RIT)

Proponents (submission in):

3GPP Proponent (IMT-2020/14)

China (People’s Republic of) (IMT-2020/15)

Korea (Republic of) (IMT-2020/16)

Determination whether the RIT or SRIT meets the requirements of Res. ITU‑R 65, resolves 6 e) and f), for the five test environments comprising the three usage scenarios

YES
(Requirements met for five test environments)

Inclusion in the standardization phase described in Step 8

YES

1 Developed by 3GPP as 5G, Release 15 and beyond (as indicated in Documents 5D/1215 and 5D/1216)

2 The NB-IoT part of IMT-2020/15 (China) candidate technology proposal is technically identical to the specifications for the NB-IoT part of IMT-2020/13 (3GPP SRIT).

3 Developed by 3GPP as 5G, Release 15 and beyond (as indicated in Documents 5D/1215 and 5D/1217)

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The 3GPP 5G System (5GS) also includes specifications for its non-radio aspects, such as the core network elements (the Enhanced Packet Core (EPC) Network and 5G Core (5GC) Network), security, codecs, network management, etc.

–>These non-radio specifications are not included in the so-called “Global Core Specifications (GCS)” of IMT-2020.

Support of Industry Verticals:

The E-UTRA/LTE and 5G NR component RITs from 3GPP support a diverse set of mobile broadband (eMBB) services and other so-called industry “verticals,” including URLLC, Industrial IoT, Automotive/V2X, Private Networks (NPN), and others. NR RIT supports in-band coexistence with NB-IoT and eMTC. For optimal support of specific verticals, the 5G NR RIT has been designed, or enhanced, with certain key features, or set of features.

A short summary of relevant NR RIT capabilities for a few industry verticals is provided below.

Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications (URLLC) and Industrial IoT (IIoT): 

For support of Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications services, some of the main features supported by the 5G NR RIT are:
• Logical Channel Priority (LCP) restrictions
• Packet duplication with DC or CA
• New QCI table for block error rate 10*-5
• Physical layer short transmission time interval (TTI)

From 3GPP Rel-16 onwards, URLLC and Industrial IoT use cases are further facilitated by:
• NR PDCP duplication enhancements,
• Prioritization/multiplexing enhancements,
• NR Time Sensitive Communications (TSC) related enhancements,e.g. Ethernet header compression, and
• Precise time information delivery

Factory Automation and “Industry 4.0”:

5G URLLC in Release 16 (RAN and 5G core) was said to improve link reliability by as much as 99.9999%.  These types of applications are best served by a coordinated multi-point (CoMP) approach that leverages multiple transmission and reception (multi-TRP) architecture to provide redundant communication paths with some degree of spatial diversity.

Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications:

From 3GPP Rel-16, NR RIT includes support of Vehicle-to-everything (V2X), mainly by means of NR sidelink communication over the PC5 interface, partly leveraging what was defined for E-UTRA V2X sidelink communication.

Sidelink transmission and reception over the PC5 interface are supported when the UE is inside NG-RAN coverage, irrespective of which RRC state the UE is in, and when the UE is outside NG-RAN coverage.

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IMT-2020 Consensus Building and Decision by 5D:

– IMT-2020/15 (China) candidate technology proposal is technically identical to the IMT‑2020/14 (3GPP RIT) candidate technology proposal and NB-IoT part of IMT‑2020/13 (3GPP SRIT) candidate technology proposal;

– IMT-2020/16 (Korea) candidate technology proposal is technically identical to the IMT‑2020/14 (3GPP RIT) candidate technology proposal;

Additionally, consensus building has been performed with the objective of achieving global harmonization and having the potential for wide industry support for the radio interfaces that are developed for IMT‑2020. (?????)

As a result of the consensus building in ITU-R among the seven technology proposals, the following groupings are agreed by ITU-R:

– The SRIT proposed in IMT-2020/13 including NB-IoT part to which China (People’s Republic of) (NB-IoT part of IMT-2020/15) is technically identical, is identified in ITU as “3GPP 5G SRIT”1, developed by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), for Step 7 and subsequent IMT-2020 development.

– The RITs proposed in IMT-2020/14, NR part of IMT-2020/15 and IMT-2020/16 are grouped into the technology identified in ITU as “3GPP 5G RIT”, developed by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), for Step 7 and subsequent IMT-2020 development.

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Future plans for the IMT process:

IMT is an on-going process of development and updates within ITU-R WP 5D.

In 2021, ITU-R will define the schedule for future general revisions of the Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS], to accommodate any future new, improved, or updated IMT-2020 candidate technology proposals beyond the first release, utilizing the same baseline IMT ‘revision and update process’ currently in place, as applied to IMT 2020.

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Future IEEE Techblog posts on 3GPP Rel 16 and IMT 2020.SPECS:

This author has been in dialog with 3GPP leaders via the 3GPP Marketing Communications Manager to accurately assess 3GPP Rel 16 completed work items related to 5G (both radio and non-radio aspects).

In particular, we are very much interested in the 3GPP Rel 16 URLLC specification, performance simulation(s), and performance testing (not yet started).  Only after independent performance testing will we know if the URLLC test implementation meets the required performance parameters specified by 3GPP and/or Minimum requirements related to technical performance for IMT-2020 radio interface(s) [ITU M.2410].

The IEEE Techblog Editorial Team is soliciting guest blog posts related to 3GPP Rel 16 and/or issues with IMT-2020.SPECS as well as other topics listed here.

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References:

5G Specifications (3GPP), 5G Radio Standard (IMT 2020) and Standard Essential Patents

3GPP Release 16 Update: 5G Phase 2 (including URLLC) to be completed in June 2020; Mission Critical apps extended

https://techblog.comsoc.org/?q=IMT%202020#gsc.tab=0&gsc.q=IMT%202020&gsc.page=1

https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/study-groups/rsg5/rwp5d/imt-2020/Pages/submission-eval.aspx

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=9114983

https://www.3gpp.org/news-events/2129-sweet_rel_16

https://www.3gpp.org/news-events/2130-video_sa

3 thoughts on “Executive Summary: IMT-2020.SPECS defined, submission status, and 3GPP’s RIT submissions

  1. Since 2016, ITU-R has been undergoing a profound and thorough assessment of all received candidate proposals based on 5G’s three major use cases: enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), ultra-reliable low-latency communication (URLLC), and Massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC).

    Finally, 3GPP 5G was approved as the radio interface technology meets the technological standards of IMT-2020 for supporting diverse 5G applications in terms of service support, spectrum, and performance indicators. The technology boasts a peak rate of over 20 Gbps, a latency of less than 1 ms, and enablement of one million connections per square kilometer.

    ITU-R WP 5D is a working group under the ITU that is responsible for the terrestrial radio access of International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) systems. Over the past 20 years, the ITU-R WP 5D standardized 3G (known as IMT-2000), 4G (known as IMT-Advanced), as well as the current 5G standard (or termed as IMT 2020 and beyond). 3G and 4G have enabled the mobile telecom industry to achieve significant accomplishments worldwide.

    Led by the ITU-R WP 5D, countries and regional organizations around the world will continue to work together on mobile communications. Huawei will also continue to make contributions to advance the development of global mobile communications technologies.

    https://www.huawei.com/en/news/2020/7/3gpp-itu-imt-2020-5g-standard

  2. At the conclusion of its Oct 2020 meeting, ITU-R WP5D could NOT agree on revision of draft recommendation M.1036-6 which specifies frequency arrangements to be used with the terrestrial component of IMT, including IMT 2020.SPECS. So that document has yet to be sent to ITU-R SG5 for approval.

    The Frequency Aspects WG report stated:
    “The current version of the draft revision with these further proposed edits is contained in document 5D/TEMP/243(Rev.1) and Editor’s Notes have been included in the document to clarify the current situation.”

    “Looking at the current situation with some of the critical and urgent deliverables of WG Spectrum Aspects & WRC-23 Preparations, it is clear that whilst progress has been made in some less controversial areas, there are a significant number of areas where very diverging and sometimes polarized views remain. It is the view of the WG Chair that the current situation with such polarized views and no room for compromise solutions is disappointing and that we cannot continue with this approach at the next meeting if we want to be successful in completing these critical outputs by the required deadlines. We must all put more efforts into finding efficient ways to advance the discussions and in particular to focus on middle ground and compromise solutions rather than repeating initial positions.”

    Furthermore, the UNAPPROVED draft revision to M.1036-6 has several cop-outs. For example:
    “That Recommendations ITU‑R M.1457, ITU‑R M.2012 and ITU‑R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] contain external references to information on operating bands for IMT technologies which may go beyond the information in Recommendation ITU-R М.1036 and may cover broader frequency ranges as well as further uplink/downlink combinations” OR for ONLY IMT 2020.SPECS:

    “That Recommendations ITU‑R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] contains external references to information on operating bands for IMT technologies which may go beyond the information in Recommendation М.1036 and may cover broader frequency ranges as well as further uplink/downlink combinations.”

    Note also, that the hotly debated 12GHz frequency some are proposing for 5G is NOT contained in the draft revision to ITU-R M.1036-6.

  3. It’s somewhat of a contradiction that ITU-R WP5D approved IMT 2020.specs (3GPP NR + TSDSI 5Gi for India) at its Nov 2020 meeting, but the Frequency WG was not in session so no action could be taken to revise M.1036. Hence, there are NO assigned frequencies/ arrangements for terrestrial 5G!

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