Nokia exec talks up “5G Advanced” (3GPP release 18) before 5G standards/specs have been completed

Nokia said it is working with Reliance JioBharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) in 5G field trials in advance of India’s repeatedly delayed 5G spectrum auction,  now scheduled for April-May, 2022. India’s big three telecos are using government spectrum to conduct their 5G field trials.

Nokia’s chief strategy and technology officer Nishant Batra said Wednesday at India Mobile Congress that his company expects to bring in advanced 5G solutions (?):

 “We have active engagements with Bharti, VI, and Jio for 5G field trials and have made several public announcements on the milestones achieved. 5G will open up new possibilities that will have a massive impact on society, industry and consumers in India…in the coming years and beyond the 5G era,” said Batra.  By the end of 2023, we expect to see release 18 of 3GPP (see the actual 3GPP Timeline below)….or as we prefer to call it: 5G-Advanced.  This version of the 5G evolution will develop 5G to its fullest capabilities and is an important stepping-stone to the new interactive use cases we will see on a large scale in the coming 6G era,” he added.

Nishant Batra, Nokia’s Chief Strategy and Technology Officer

3GPP Timeline for Release 17 and 18


Telcos so far have highlighted that 5G use cases (what are they without URLLC?) can bring in transformation in healthcare, agriculture, education related areas. Batra also gave a glimpse of how human technology interfaces will change in the future and the internet used via smartphones will be “less exciting.”

“By 2030, we expect two of the biggest drivers of network evolution will be human augmentation and digital/physical fusion. Consumer broadband will still be the biggest service, and video will still drive the bulk of Internet traffic,” Batra opined. India is one of the biggest data consumers. “Practically speaking, digital/physical fusion means that by 2030 every physical thing that makes sense to connect digitally will be connected to the Internet,” he added.  Nokia, which has its “Conscious Factory” in Chennai, is betting big on machine learning, automation, cloud services and automation. “As enterprises, governments and networks invest in their digital transformations, Nokia is well-positioned to provide the critical networking solutions they need,” Batra said.

Author’s Opinion:

It is premature to start thinking of 5G-Advanced when so many of the needed 5G ITU-R recommendations/standards and 3GPP specs are incomplete.  These include: URLLC in the RAN and updates to ITU-R M.2150 for URLLC (to meet the 5G minimum performance requirements specified in ITU-R M.2410), implementation specs/agreements for 5G SA Core network (cloud native/microservices/containers, etc or otherwise), frequency arrangements for terrestrial 5G (ITU-R M.1036 revision to include mmWave frequencies approved at WRC’19), network management, security, roaming, interworking with WiFi 6E, etc.


IMT towards 2030 and beyond (“6G”): Technologies for ubiquitous computing and data services

ATIS: Next G Alliance leadership and 6G Roadmap – Is it premature?


One thought on “Nokia exec talks up “5G Advanced” (3GPP release 18) before 5G standards/specs have been completed

  1. Reliance Jio Managing Director Sanjay Mashruwala said 5G use cases and applications around remote healthcare, agriculture or even autonomous driving need to be designed differently for the next-gen wireless broadband technology to see faster adoption in India as regional market conditions are very different from western markets.

    “The western world is getting ready with a host of new 5G applications/use cases, but in India, we need it differently as regional conditions are different,” Mashruwala said at the India Mobile Congress virtual event on Thursday.Citing an instance, he said 5G use cases around autonomous driving in western countries, typically, rely on “an AI engine and route maps and adhering to their traffic rules,” a situation that won’t work here as the driving conditions are very different, and so, any use cases around autonomous driving would need to be designed differently for India.
    Accordingly, the Jio MD underlined the criticality of strategisng and encouraging development of
    appropriate platforms around 5G technology that is relevant to Indian market conditions.

    Reliance Jio is betting big on 5G and is poised to bring in the fast wireless broadband technology and also become a global vendor. RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani on the opening day of IMC 2021 called on the government to make 5G rollouts a national priority and take steps to ensure the country completes the migration from 2G to 4G to 5G at the earliest.
    Mashruwala said 5G technology can provide an “excellent foundation for delivering virtual care, telemedicine and also can play a vital role in complementing clean energy technologies.Availability of small format low-cost options like IoT sensors backed by real time 5G connectivity, he said, can help build new levels of intelligence into the country’s energy grid.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>