AT&T announces cloud partnership with Microsoft 1 day after similar deal with IBM

AT&T has entered into a multi-year, cloud-based collaborative effort with Microsoft the day after announcing an alliance with IBM [1] that also focused on  cloud computing. The teleco and media giant will move many of its non-network apps to Microsoft Azure and use the company’s 365 software suite while Microsoft will deploy new AT&T technologies, such as 5G, to build edge computing applications.

Comment: This is yet another proof point that telco cloud computing has been a dismal failure.  AT&T and Verizon have both sold off many of their data centers and given up on cloud computing/storage in favor of the much bigger players (e.g. Amazon, Microsoft, Google and IBM in the U.S.). This new agreement appears to be a big win for Microsoft Azure, and probably at the expense of Amazon AWS, Google and IBM cloud rivals.

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“AT&T and Microsoft are among the most committed companies to fostering technology that serves people,” said John Donovan, CEO of AT&T Communications in a prepared statement. “By working together on common efforts around 5G, the cloud, and AI, we will accelerate the speed of innovation and impact for our customers and our communities,” he added (John is NEVER at a loss for words!)

Microsoft.jpg

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella with AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan

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Observation:

The AT&T Microsoft partnership appears to be broader than the just announced AT&T IBM deal (see note 1 below). That deal is cloud-focused as well but is limited to the AT&T Business Solutions business unit, helping to better manage internal applications. A key objective of the IBM deal is to provide tools for AT&T Business solutions to better serve enterprise customers.

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AT&T partnerships on edge computing:

AT&T and Microsoft had earlier announced a deal on mobile edge computing which we reported here.  Earlier this year, AT&T said it will work with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) to help businesses harness powerful edge capabilities. The two companies have agreed to a go-to-market program to accelerate business adoption of edge connections and edge computing.

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Note 1.  AT&T – IBM Cloud Parthership:

AT&T Communications will work with IBM to modernize AT&T Business Solutions’ internal software applications, enabling migrations to the IBM Cloud.  IBM will provide infrastructure to support AT&T Business’s applications. AT&T Business will use the Red Hat open source platform to manage workloads and applications.  IBM will be the primary developer and cloud provider for AT&T Business’s operational applications and will help manage the AT&T Communications IT infrastructure, on and off-premises and across different clouds –private and public.

As part of the agreement, AT&T Business will be IBM’s primary provider of software defined networking and will leverage the carrier’s latest technologies including 5G, Edge Compute, and IoT as well as multi-cloud capabilities using Red Hat.

Additionally, the two companies will work together on edge computing platforms, which will help enterprise clients capitalize on the power of 5G network speeds and the internet-connected devices and sensors at the edge of the network.

“In AT&T Business, we’re constantly evolving to better serve business customers around the globe by securely connecting them to the digital capabilities they need,” said Thaddeus Arroyo, CEO of AT&T Business, in a prepared statement. “This includes optimizing our core operations and modernizing our internal business applications to accelerate innovation. Through our collaboration with IBM, we’re adopting open, flexible, cloud technologies, that will ultimately help accelerate our business leadership.”

References:

https://about.att.com/story/2019/microsoft.html

AT&T Taps Microsoft for Broad Strategic Cloud Partnership

AT&T tests 5G and network edge computing with Microsoft Azure; Partners with Vodafone Business for IoT

https://www.business.att.com/products/multi-access-edge-computing.html

AT&T owns >630 MHz nationwide of mmWave spectrum + HPE partnership for Edge Networking & Computing

 

SK Telecom with Swisscom: World’s First “5G” Roaming Service

SK Telecom announced today that it will begin the world’s first 5G roaming service [1] from midnight KST on July 16 through a strategic partnership with Swisscom, the largest telecommunications provider in Switzerland.

Note 1.  Not only is there no standard for “5G’ roaming (or even signaling.control plane), but there are no standards for anything related to 5G radio and non radio aspects.  Hence, this “5G’ roaming agreement is specific to these two carriers.  They have obviously agreed on a roaming/handoff spec for 5G NR (3GPP Rel 15) in the data plane and LTE signaling in the control plane.

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Swisscom, which boasts over 6 million mobile subscriptions, started to roll out its 5G network on April 17th. The company currently provides 5G service in 110 cities and villages including Zurich, Geneva and Bern as well as rural and touristic areas.

SK Telecom’s customers using Samsung Galaxy S10 5G smartphone will be able to use 5G roaming service through Swisscom when visiting Switzerland after upgrading their devices with the latest software update. In the future, SK Telecom plans to provide software upgrades to LG V50 users and further expand 5G roaming service to other countries around the globe.

“SK Telecom once again proved its leadership in advanced roaming technology with the launch of world’s first 5G roaming service” said Han Myung-jin, Vice President and Head of MNO Business Supporting Group of SK Telecom. “We will continuously expand our 5G roaming service to enhance customer experience and benefits.”

Meanwhile, with the aim to enable its customers to make and receive high-quality, free-of-charge international roaming voice calls while travelling to 171 countries across the world, SK Telecom launched ‘baro’ on December 17, 2018. As of June 2019, ‘baro’ has attracted 2.2 million users and 38 million cumulative calls (total of 800,000 hours of voice calls). Moreover, ‘baro’ won the ‘Best Mobile Technology Breakthrough in Asia’ award at the 2019 Asia Mobile Awards held as part of MWC19 Shanghai.

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About SK Telecom:

SK Telecom is the largest mobile operator in Korea with nearly 50 percent of the market share. As the pioneer of all generations of mobile networks, the company has commercialized the fifth generation (5G) network on December 1, 2018 and announced the first 5G smartphone subscribers on April 3, 2019. With its world’s best 5G, SK Telecom is set to realize the Age of Hyper-Innovation by transforming the way customers work, live and play.

Building on its strength in mobile services, the company is also creating unprecedented value in diverse ICT-related markets including media, security and commerce.

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For more information, please contact:

skt_press@sk.com or sktelecom@bcw-global.com.

About Swisscom:

Swisscom, Switzerland’s leading telecoms company and one of its leading IT companies, is headquartered in Ittigen, close to the capital city Berne. Outside Switzerland, Swisscom has a presence on the Italian market in the guise of Fastweb. About 20,000 employees generated sales of CHF 2’860 million to the end of the 1st Quarter 2019. It is 51% Confederation-owned and is one of Switzerland’s most sustainable and innovative companies.

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Media Contacts:

Yong-jae Lee

SK Telecom Co. Ltd.

(822) 6100 3838

(8210) 3129 6880

yjlee6880@sk.com

Irene Kim

SK Telecom Co. Ltd.

(822) 6100 3867

(8210) 8936 0062

gahaekim@sk.com

Ha-young Lee

BCW Korea

(822) 3782 6421

Hayoung.Lee@bcw-global.com

Israel Ministry of Communications publishes 5G frequencies auction

Israel’s Ministry of Communications is publishing the auction for 5G frequencies today. The tender winners will be announced in the fourth quarter of the year, after which the frequencies will be allocated to the companies.

The auction utilizes the Vickrey method – a public auction in sealed envelopes. The party making the highest bid wins the auction, but will pay the second highest price. The state is using this method in order to get the maximum value, while at the same time avoiding inflated prices.

As first reported by “Globes,” the Ministry of Communications will try to allocate the most desirable frequencies, 700 MHz, to all of the cellular companies. These frequencies are the best and most effective of all the 5G frequencies. Two other frequencies are being offered in addition to 700 MHz.

In order to support the venture, the state will provide substantial incentives to operators in the form of a NIS 500 million refund to encourage the operators to act quickly. The current government cannot make the decision, because it is a transition government, but the Ministry of Communications has agreed in principle not to increase the yearly fees paid by the cellular companies.

All of the cellular operators currently pay NIS 300 million annually, and this figure is not expected to change in the next four years. The cellular operators will pay a one-time amount in the tender framework, but part of it will be refunded to them on the basis of meeting targets.

The participants in the tender will pay the license fee only in January 2022. This postponement will enable them to allocate the money in the first two years to investments in technology. The Israel government will later allow the operators to bid in another tender in which they will provide wireless Internet for homes.

The auction will be managed using a method called combinatorial clock auctions. This method enables bidders to compete simultaneously in all of the frequency areas. The frequencies in the auction will be offered only to companies agreeing to found a shared network. The aim is to avoid an inefficient allocation of frequencies.

The systems of incentives for deployment is composed of two tracks: reducing the fees for the frequencies – a annual reduction of 28% of all the frequency fees for four years. The operators will be required to meet engineering targets each year. The benefit will be provided at the beginning of each year, assuming that the operator meets the targets.

In the second track, the state will provide an incentive of up to NIS 200 million. The cellular companies will have to establish 250 5G broadcasting centers. The operator that builds the most sites will receive up to NIS 82 million – 41% of the total incentive. The builder of the second most sites will get NIS 66 million, and the operator in third place will receive NIS 52 million.

The Ministry of Communications believes that the public will begin benefiting from the new technology in 2020. Minister of Communications David Amsalem said today, “This technological measure will leave its mark for decades from now. With the introduction of the new 5G technology, the smart digital revolution will get underway and affect all spheres of life: smart homes, smart cities, smart medicine, making the outlying areas closer to the central area, education. autonomous vehicles, advanced industry, etc.

“The financial state of the companies at this time has not escaped us, and the tender also takes this situation into account. I congratulate my friends and participants in the tenders committee for their professional work. The dedication and responsibility exercised is what made it possible to lay the cornerstone today for the next era of technology.”

Amsalem added, “All of our lives are going to change as a result of 5G. Human life is going to develop concurrently with the industrial revolution, and the technology is therefore of critical importance. There is of course an amazing team here that has been working on this for over 18 months. It is a difficult, complicated matter, as are the tenders. There is something extremely sophisticated here. I want to take this opportunity to thank the ministry’s employees for what they have done up until now, and it has to be pushed forward as much as possible. The revolution has two arteries: the frequencies tender and the other story that completes it, which is fiber-optics. Both of them together will enable us to make progress, so that Israel adapts itself to global technology. Today, if you lag behind in some aspect, you become an underdevelopment country.”

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Published by Globes, Israel business news – en.globes.co.il  July 14, 2019

https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-israeli-govt-publishes-5g-frequency-auction-1001293454

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Also see these previous Globes articles:

https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-communications-ministry-mulls-setting-minimum-mobile-phone-package-price-1001280565

https://en.globes.co.il/en/article-israeli-govt-to-offer-incentives-for-5g-mobile-networks-1001249031

 

 

Timelines for IMT 2020 (subject to change) and 3GPP Release 16

 

15 July 2019 Update & Clarification:

For the completion of Step 8 (see revised description below) and the finalization of the draft new Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT‑2020.SPECS] in Working Party 5D, a completion date of the WP 5D meeting No. 36, currently planned for 7-14 October 2020 had previously been chosen.

However, this completion date has been shifted to a new WP 5D Meeting #36bis planned for 17-19 November 2020 (shown in above table). The focus of this ‘bis’ meeting is specifically the technology aspects and associated matters necessary to finalize the draft new Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS].

This shift was done to assist the Transposing Organizations by providing them additional time to prepare their transposed standards aligned with the Global Core Specification that would be provided to WP 5D meeting #35 (24 June – 1 July 2020).

The additional time afforded by scheduling a new WP 5D Meeting #36bis as the new completion meeting of the draft new Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] affords the Transposing Organizations at least 13 weeks of time after WP 5D Meeting #35 to provide the Radiocommunication Bureau by the indicated due date (8 October 2020) with the relevant technical material (e.g., the URL hyperlinks) and other related administrative matters to ITU-R after the Meeting #35,  in proper alignment with the GCS.

The ITU-R Secretariat, upon receipt of this material from the Transposing Organizations will administratively prepare (i.e., compile, edit, format, etc.) the final draft of the Recommendation incorporating all the technologies (RITs and SRITs) agreed by ITU-R for inclusion in Step 8 and make it available to WP 5D Meeting #36bis.

Step 8 – Development of radio interface Recommendation(s):

In this step a (set of) IMT-2020 terrestrial component radio interface Recommendation(s) is developed within the ITU-R on the basis of the results of Step 7, sufficiently detailed to enable worldwide compatibility of operation and equipment, including roaming.

This work may proceed in cooperation with relevant organizations external to ITU in order to complement the work within ITU‑R, using the principles set out in Resolution ITU-R 9-5.

Step 9 – Implementation of Recommendation(s):

In this step, activities external to ITU-R include the development of supplementary standards (if appropriate), equipment design and development, testing, field trials, type approval (if appropriate), development of relevant commercial aspects such as roaming agreements, manufacture and deployment of IMT-2020 infrastructure leading to commercial service.

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3GPP input to IMT 2020 RIT/SRIT and Release 16 Schedule:

3GPP notes that with the complexities of 5G as a new generation of technology and the importance of the new Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] globally for all stakeholders (including support for the results of WRC-19), any additional time afforded to the External Organizations in Step 8 for provision of the URL references would be of great benefit to all the radio interface technology proponents, not just 3GPP.

3GPP welcomes any accommodation WP 5D might make concerning the scheduling of the work to conclude the first release of Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] and kindly asks for feedback to 3GPP from that discussion.
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From 3GPP Webinar – 3 July 2019:

© 3GPP 2012 © 3GPP 2019 7 Release 16 progressing towards completion 5G V2X • Targeting advanced use cases beyond LTE V2X I...

“For the (industry) verticals, there are three distinct pillars that we are focused on: Automotive, Industrial IoT and Operation in unlicensed frequency bands.

For 5G based V2X, which builds on the two iterations of the LTE-V2X, we are now adding advanced features – primarily in the area of low latency use cases.

The second focus is industrial IoT and URLLC enhancements. Factory automation, in particular, is a strong pillar for 5G going forward. We are trying to ensure that the radio side covers all of the functions that all the verticals need for factory automation. What this means in practice is that we are trying to make sure 5G NR can fully replace a wired Ethernet – currently used – by adding time sensitive networking and high reliability capabilities.

The third pillar is operation in unlicensed bands. We have seen different schemes for generic 5G licensing strategies in Europe and in other parts of the World. We have seen in some countries that certain licensed bands have been allocated for vertical use cases, though that is not the case for a majority of countries. The use of unlicensed bands provides a great opportunity – where licensed spectrum is not an option. We are now focused on not only what we have with LTE, which is the licensed assisted access scheme, but also on standalone unlicensed operation – to be completed in Release 16.

Release 16 also delivers generic system improvements & enhancements, which target Mobile Broadband, but can also be used in vertical deployments –> Particularly: positioning, MIMO enhancements and Power consumption improvements.”

See and listen to this 3GPP Webinar at: https://vimeo.com/346171906

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Annex 1.  From ATIS contribution to ITU-R WP5D July 2019 meeting in Brazil:

3GPP has agreed revised completion dates for Release 16 – schedule shifted out by 3 months:
Release 16 RAN-1 Freeze RAN # 86 December 2019
Release 16 RAN Stage 3 Freeze RAN # 87 March 2020
Release 16 ASN.1 Freeze RAN # 88 June 2020
Release 16 RAN-4 Freeze RAN # 89 September 2020
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Submitted on behalf of the 3GPP Proponent of the 3GPP submission, which is collectively the 3GPP Organizational Partners (OPs). The 3GPP OPs are ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TSDSI, TTA and TTC (http://www.3gpp.org/partners)

IMT 2020: Concept of Global Core Specification (GCS) and references

SOURCE: ITU-R Document 5D/TEMP/728-E; 11 July 2019

Introduction:

When completed, Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] will contain the detailed specifications of the radio interfaces of IMT-2020. The structure and philosophy adopted for M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] for IMT2020 is based on those used in Recommendations ITU-R M.1457 for IMT-2000 and ITU-R M.2012 for IMT-Advanced, which have been successfully utilized for two decades through numerous revisions of Recommendations ITU-R M.1457 and ITU-R M.2012.

A key concept is the continued use of the Global Core Specification (GCS) provided by the GCS Proponent and references to standards of Transposing Organization(s) authorized by the GCS Proponent whereby the detailed standardization is undertaken within the Transposing Organization that operates in concert with the RIT/SRIT Proponent and/or GCS Proponent entities.

The relationship between the GCSs for IMT-2020 radio interface technologies and the corresponding transposed standards is such that the GCSs are the framework for their corresponding detailed transposed specifications. Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] may also include references to specific related standards of the Transposing Organizations. There may be one or more entities that exist within a GCS Proponent for a given GCS.

It is also permissible to not have a separate GCS for a particular radio interface technology, in which case all the detailed specifications of that particular radio interface technology (the Directly Incorporated Specification) would be fully contained directly within the Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS].

This understanding of whether a GCS would or would not be utilized in the context of a particular radio interface technology within Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] is necessary so that the proper structure and content of the Recommendation is chosen to properly reflect the technology specifications.

Consequently, the RIT/SRIT Proponent is requested to indicate at an early stage to the ITU-R its preliminary intention to submit a Global Core Specification, in advance of the required formal certifications, which will be used to form the basis of information in the Recommendation ITUR M.[IMT-2020.SPECS].

ITU-R (Working Party 5D) will review any GCS or DIS submission(s) and agree/approve or suggest changes in conjunction with the development and the ultimate approval by ITU-R of the final published version of Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] and the established schedules.

ITU-R (WP 5D and/or the Radiocommunication Bureau) will maintain liaison with the relevant External Organizations (RIT/SRIT Proponents, GCS Proponents, and Transposing Organizations) on the required deliverables and also the relevant schedules and administrative matters associated with the various stages of the development of the Recommendation ITUR M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] and its revisions over time.

Respecting the integrity of the GCSs and ensuring that the transposed standards are consistent with the GCS:

To assure users of Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] of the integrity of the GCS for a particular technology, and to ensure that the transposed standards are consistent with the common globally agreed vision of IMT-2020, completeness and traceability of the GCS and the transposed standards is a foremost obligation of the ITU-R.

As noted above, the IMT-2020 specifications could be developed around a “Global Core Specification” (GCS), which is related to externally developed materials incorporated by specific references for a specific technology. The submitted GCSs as accepted by WP 5D for inclusion in Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] will be placed on the relevant ITU website and indicated by hyperlinks in each relevant technology Section of Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT2020.SPECS].
Thus the GCS provided by the GCS Proponent would form the nucleus of Recommendation ITUR M.[IMT-2020.SPECS]. For each radio interface technology in Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT2020.SPECS] (whether presented as a single RIT or as one of the component RITs within an SRIT) there will be only one corresponding GCS. A GCS will have one or more GCS Proponents. Each component RIT within a SRIT may be separately addressed with regard to its GCS and the associated GCS Proponents.

Each GCS would correspond to separate sets of transposed standards/specifications from one or more individual standards development organizations or equivalent entities. For each separate set of transposed standards/specifications, there will be only one Transposing Organization.

The referenced standards of the authorized Transposing Organizations must be technically consistent with the corresponding GCS while allowing a limited amount of flexibility to accommodate, e.g. minimal regional differences. An example of a regional difference would be a regional adjustment for differing frequency bands. Adherence to this format and principle assures a common global standard for IMT-2020 as codified in Recommendation ITUR M.[IMT2020.SPECS] including the external materials incorporated by reference.

The receipt of information with regard to Recommendation ITUR M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] that is related to a business relationship of the ITU and the relevant external organizations complements and support activities such as the technical work under the purview of the relevant Study Group within the ITU. It must be noted that where this document addresses administrative matters it does not intend to usurp the Study Group or Working Party authority but merely seeks to provide additional critical information to the deliberations on Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS] as to the individual or collective intent and/or actions of the RIT/SRIT Proponents, GCS Proponents, and/or Transposing Organizations that support a particular technology, a corresponding GCS, and the related transposed standards.

A Transposing Organization is an individual entity authorized by a GCS Proponent to transpose the relevant GCS into specific standards and to provide specific references and hyperlinks (Transposition References) for the purposes of Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS].  A Transposing Organization:

1) must have been authorized by the relevant GCS Proponent to produce transposed standards for a particular technology, and
2) must have the relevant legal usage rights.

It is noted that the entity or entities that make up a GCS Proponent may also be a Transposing Organization. It should also be noted that the term Transposing Organization is always indicated to be a single entity. It is also noted that, for the purposes of Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS], the ITUR will only recognize as valid those Transposing Organizations that have been identified to the ITU-R by the GCS Proponent as authorized to transpose the GCS Proponent’s GCS.

Neither a GCS Proponent nor a Transposing Organization need to be a formal “Standards Development Organization” or “SDO.” For example, “SDO” here could represent an industry entity, organization, individual company, etc. that, if applicable, also qualifies appropriately under the auspices of Resolution ITU-R 9.  https://www.itu.int/pub/R-RES-R.9

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It should be noted that when a GCS is provided by the GCS Proponent it communicates the intention that at least one set of transposed standards/specifications would be provided to the ITU-R by a Transposing Organization by the required deadline in order for a particular radio interface technology to be fully complete within the Recommendation ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.SPECS]. It is recognized that a single entity may act as both the GCS Proponent and the Transposing Organization and could provide the GCS itself as the set of transposed standards or specifications.

ITU-R Working Party 5D will always, under the process of creating or revising Recommendation ITUR M.[IMT-2020.SPECS], perform a final quality and consistency check of the draft new or revised Recommendation in its final published form (which includes all references) as part of reaching final agreement to forward the finalized draft new or revised Recommendation to the appropriate Study Group 5 meeting for action.

OpenSignal: U.S. has fastest “5G” download speed out of 8 countries tested

by Ian Fogg, OpenSignal (edited and augmented by Alan J Weissberger)

Overview:

In Opensignal’s latest analysis of 5G, we’ve looked at the maximum real-world speeds seen in eight countries which have launched 5G services. The maximum download speeds smartphone users see are much faster than the average speeds experienced by 5G users as the market research firm expected.  OpenSignal relies on crowd-sourced, device-based data and regular application servers for its information on user-experienced speeds, as opposed to test servers that may be located within an operator’s network. Data was collected between April 1st and June 30th.

The highest maximum speeds were seen by 5G users in the U.S. with 1815 Mbps, which is approximately three times as fast as 4G users’ maximum speed. Switzerland followed in second place with 1145 Mbps and South Korea ranked third with 5G users’ maximum speed of 1071 Mbps. The speeds we measured in these three leading countries were significantly faster than the maximum speed in European markets where 5G has only just launched such as Italy or Spain, or in the UK where the first operator to launch 5G only has 40 MHz of suitable spectrum which is far below 5G technology’s 100 MHz channel size sweet spot.

The current 5G maximum speed is so much greater in the U.S., because wireless network operators there are already able to use mmWave spectrum for 5G. This is extremely high capacity and extremely fast spectrum but has very limited coverage compared with the 3.4-3.8 GHz 5G “mid band” spectrum typically used in most of the other countries we analyzed where mmWave spectrum is not yet available.

Real-world measurements of 5G maximum speed accurately record the experience:

Opensignal says they focus on analyzing the true end-to-end network experience of mobile users. Our approach means the speeds we measure represent the typical real-world experience of smartphone users. This means other speed tests which use dedicated test servers that are often located very close to a user inside the same operator’s network will inflate speeds compared with Opensignal’s real-world measurement of maximum speed.

To measure the real-world experience accurately, Opensignal’s tests connect our users’ smartphones to the same servers that host all the popular mobile apps and websites which all smartphone users connect to daily.

Editor’s Note: Some deployed pre-standard 5G networks (like AT&T’s) don’t have 5G smartphone endpoints at this time.  AT&T only sells a Netgear “puck” which is a WiFi router with AT&T’s 5G used for backhaul.

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The 5G experience is set to improve quickly:

At this early stage of the 5G era, the maximum speeds are already many times higher than the maximum speed we have measured with our 4G users. The difference between 5G users’ max speed and 4G users ranged from 2.7 times as fast in the USA, 2.6 times as fast in Switzerland, down to Australia where the maximum speed experienced by 4G users was so extremely fast – close to the theoretical best performance of 4G – that the maximum 5G speed was actually slightly slower than the maximum 4G speed.

Opensignal expects 5G maximum speeds to continue to increase as 5G expands its reach. This is just the start of the 5G era and the market is moving quickly. More 5G services will launch using more spectrum and wider channels — there are few 5G services currently using 5G’s ideal 100 MHz channel size  — and 5G technology evolves to be able to combine the performance of multiple 5G channels and bands together to boost both the maximum and average 5G speeds and further improve the mobile user experience of 5G users.

It’s quite interesting that OpenSignal’s analysis found that 4G LTE users in Australia actually have peak speeds faster than 5G speeds: 950 Mbps on 4G versus 792 Mbps on 5G. OpenSignal noted that Australia’s 4G performance is close to the theoretical limits of 4G LTE.

References:

https://www.opensignal.com/blog/2019/07/08/5g-boosts-the-maximum-real-world-download-speed-by-up-to-27-times-4g-users-top-speeds

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2019/06/22/opensignal-reports-on-5g-speeds-and-4g-lte-experience-in-south-korea/

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2019/05/29/key-findings-in-opensignals-state-of-the-mobile-network-experience-report/

 

Posted in 5G

Telecom Italia to deploy “5G” in 6 More Italian Cities by 2019 year-end

Telecom Italia (TIM) has already deployed pre-standard “5G” in Rome and Turin and recently added Naples.  TIM will further extend 5G service to another six Italian cities, including Milan, Bologna, Verona, Florence, Matera, and Bari.   That will also include 30 tourist destinations, 50 industrial districts, and 30 specific projects for big businesses, with speeds of up to 2G b/sec.

TIM is in partnership with Samsung, Xiaomi and Oppo to enable an immediate use of the new 5G network. TIM will also offer the 5G roaming services in six countries, starting within July in Austria, Great Britain and Switzerland and moving on to Spain, Germany and the UAE.

Telecom Italia  plans to cover 120 Italian cities within two years, or 22% of the population, it said in a statement.  The largest Italian telco is also negotiating with rival Vodafone to share 5G infrastructure to deliver services at a lower cost across wider areas of the country.

TIM will offer tiered data-download packages to consumers and business clients, rather than unlimited data plans, according to details of its offers outlined on Friday July 5th.  Consumers, as well as business customers, can visit the company website at www.tim.it to buy a handset of their choice with selective subscription plans.

FILE PHOTO: Telecom Italia new logo is seen at the headquarter in Rozzano neighborhood of Milan.

Telecom Italia’s new logo.  Photo courtesy of Reuters

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In 2017, Turin became the first Italian city with a 5G mobile network after the municipality signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the company, which announced at that time that it would install more than 100 small cells in the main areas of the city. It had proclaimed that the project would start its metropolitan trial in 2018, with the aim of covering the whole city by 2020.

Later that year, another 5G  MoU was signed by the company with San Marino. The republic, which has a population of 33,000 and an area of 61.2 square kilometres, started working with TIM to update its mobile sites with 4G+ (LTE Advanced Pro) and introduce features such as MIMO 4×4, carrier aggregation, superior modulation, and cloud architecture.

TIM was the first operator to activate a 5G millimetre-wave antenna in Italy, the first to offer complete 5G coverage for the Republic of San Marino and the first in Italy to demonstrate a car being driven remotely through 5G, together with Ericsson – with whom the current creation of the commercial network has begun – and the Municipality of Turin. As part of the Bari-Matera experiment undertaken in agreement with the MiSE, around 70 5G use cases have been defined and many of these have already been implemented or are being finalised. Thanks to TIM 5G, this year’s Giro d’Italia fans could follow the Riccione–San Marino stage in real time with 360° cameras and enjoy a genuinely immersive entertainment experience.

References:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-tim-5g/tim-to-extend-5g-services-to-six-more-italian-cities-by-year-end-idUSKCN1U01SY

https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/5g/tim-launches-5g-services/d/d-id/752588

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The Long Rollout for 5G (from June 29th Wall Street Journal):

Some analysts and industry insiders think even a decade isn’t long enough, warning that a lack of cash and local cooperation could slow 5G rollout or even stall it completely outside the richest, densest cities.

India’s TSDSI candidate IMT 2020 RIT with Low Mobility Large Cell (LMLC) for rural coverage of 5G services

India’s telecom standards organization TSDSI has submitted its candidate Radio Interface Technology (RIT) to the IMT-2020 evaluation at the ITU-R WP 5D meeting #32 being held in Buzios, Brazil from 9 July 2019 to 17 July 2019.  TSDSI’s IMT 2020 submission is one of five candidate RIT proposals- see NOTE at bottom of this article for more information.

TSDSI’s RIT is described in document ITU-R WP5D-AR Contribution 770.  This RIT has been developed to address the rural requirements by enabling the implementation of  Low Mobility Large Cell (LMLC), particularly with emphasis on low-cost rural coverage of 5G wireless network services.  TSDSI believes that this RIT will also help to meet the rural requirements of other developing countries.  We agree!

TSDSI proposal on Low Mobility Large Cell (LMLC) configuration has been included as a mandatory test configuration under the Rural eMBB (enhanced Mobile BroadBand) test environment in IMT 2020 Technical Performance Requirements (TPR) in ITU-R with an enhanced Inter Sire Distance (ISD) of 6 km. Incorporation of LMLC in IMT2020 will help address the requirements of typical Indian rural settings and will be a key enabler for bridging the rural-urban divide with 5G rollouts.

–>The Indian administration (ITU member country) extends its support to the RIT of TSDSI and solicits the support of ITU Member States to support this proposal.

Indian wireless network operators, including Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd, have expressed interest in LMLC.

Kiran Kumar Kuchi, a professor at IIT Hyderabad is building a 5G testbed there.  The system will exceed IMT 2020 5G performance requirements including Low Mobility Large Cell.

IIT Hyderabad 5G Testbed.   Photo courtesy of IIT Hyderabad.

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TSDSI’s baseline RIT (initial description template) is documented in ITU-R WP 5D Document 5D/980: Revision 2 to Document IMT-2020/7-E, submitted on 14 February 2019.  Several updates to TSDSI RIT included the updated characteristics template, initial link budget template, etc.  They are in Document 5D/1138: Attachment Part 1: 5D/1138!P1; Attachment Part 2: 5D/1138!P2; Attachment Part 3: 5D/1138!P3; Attachment Part 4: 5D/1138!P4)

Here are a few key excerpts from the TSDSI baseline RIT:

Describe details of the radio interface architecture and protocol stack such as: – Logical channels – Control channels – Traffic channels Transport channels and/or physical channels.

RAN/Radio Architectures: This RIT contains NR standalone architecture. The following paragraphs provide a high-level summary of radio interface protocols and channels.

Radio Protocols: The protocol stack for the user plane includes the following: SDAP, PDCP, RLC, MAC, and PHY sublayers (terminated in UE and gNB). On the Control plane, the following protocols are defined: – RRC, PDCP, RLC, MAC and PHY sublayers (terminated in UE and gNB); – NAS protocol (terminated in UE and AMF) For details on protocol services and functions, please refer to 3GPP specifications (e.g. [38.300]).

Radio Channels (Physical, Transport and Logical Channels):

  • The physical layer offers service to the MAC sublayer transport channels. The MAC sublayer offers service to the RLC sublayer logical channels.
  • The RLC sublayer offers service to the PDCP sublayer RLC channels.
  • The PDCP sublayer offers service to the SDAP and RRC sublayer radio bearers: data radio bearers (DRB) for user plane data and signalling radio bearers (SRB) for control plane data.
  • The SDAP sublayer offers 5GC QoS flows and DRBs mapping function.

The physical channels defined in the downlink are: – the Physical Downlink Shared Channel (PDSCH), – the Physical Downlink Control Channel (PDCCH), – the Physical Broadcast Channel (PBCH).

The physical channels defined in the uplink are: – the Physical Random Access Channel (PRACH), – the Physical Uplink Shared Channel (PUSCH), – and the Physical Uplink Control Channel (PUCCH). In addition to the physical channels above, PHY layer signals are defined, which can be reference signals, primary and secondary synchronization signals.

The following transport channels, and their mapping to PHY channels, are defined:

Uplink: – Uplink Shared Channel (UL-SCH), mapped to PUSCH – Random Access Channel (RACH), mapped to PRACH

Downlink: – Downlink Shared Channel (DL-SCH), mapped to PDSCH – Broadcast channel (BCH), mapped to PBCH – Paging channel (PCH), mapped to (TBD)

Logical channels are classified into two groups: Control Channels and Traffic Channels.

Control channels: – Broadcast Control Channel (BCCH): a downlink channel for broadcasting system control information. – Paging Control Channel (PCCH): a downlink channel that transfers paging information and system information change notifications. – Common Control Channel (CCCH): channel for transmitting control information between UEs and network. – Dedicated Control Channel (DCCH): a point-to-point bi-directional channel that transmits dedicated control information between a UE and the network.

Traffic channels: Dedicated Traffic Channel (DTCH), which can exist in both UL and DL. In Downlink, the following connections between logical channels and transport channels exist: – BCCH can be mapped to BCH, or DL-SCH; – PCCH can be mapped to PCH; – CCCH, DCCH, DTCH can be mapped to DL-SCH;

In Uplink, the following connections between logical channels and transport channels exist: – CCCH, DCCH, DTCH can be mapped to UL-SCH.

Enhancements:

1. Method to improve broadcast and paging control channel efficiency over access elements.

2. Reduce the impact of congestion in the data path and control path to improve overall efficiency in the network. Other aspects – NR QoS architecture The QoS architecture in NG-RAN (connected to 5GC), can be summarized as follows: For each UE, 5GC establishes one or more PDU Sessions. For each UE, the NG-RAN establishes one or more Data Radio Bearers (DRB) per PDU Session. The NG-RAN maps packets belonging to different PDU sessions to different DRBs. Hence, the NG-RAN establishes at least one default DRB for each PDU Session. NAS level packet filters in the UE and in the 5GC associate UL and DL packets with QoS Flows. AS-level mapping rules in the UE and in the NG-RAN associate UL and DL QoS Flows with DRBs – Carrier Aggregation (CA) In case of CA, the multi-carrier nature of the physical layer is only exposed to the MAC layer for which one HARQ entity is required per serving cell. – Dual Connectivity (DC) In DC, the radio protocol architecture that a radio bearer uses depends on how the radio bearer is setup.

Four bearer types (information carrying channels) exist: MCG bearer, MCG split bearer, SCG bearer and SCG split bearer.

The following terminology/definitions apply:

– Master gNB: in dual connectivity, the gNB which terminates at least NG-C.

– Secondary gNB: in dual connectivity, the gNB that is providing additional radio resources for the UE but is not the Master node.

– Master Cell Group (MCG): in dual connectivity, a group of serving cells associated with the MgNB

– Secondary Cell Group (SCG): in dual connectivity, a group of serving cells associated with the SgNB

– MCG bearer: in dual connectivity, a bearer whose radio protocols are only located in the MCG.

– MCG split bearer: in dual connectivity, a bearer whose radio protocols are split at the MgNB and belong to both MCG and SCG.

– SCG bearer: in dual connectivity, a bearer whose radio protocols are only located in the SCG.

– SCG split bearer: in dual connectivity, a bearer whose radio protocols are split at the SgNB and belong to both SCG and MCG.

In case of DC, the UE is configured with two MAC entities: one MAC entity for the MCG and one MAC entity for the SCG. For a split bearer, UE is configured over which link (or both) the UE transmits UL PDCP PDUs. On the link which is not responsible for UL PDCP PDUs transmission, the RLC layer only transmits corresponding ARQ feedback for the downlink data.

What is the bit rate required for transmitting feedback information? The information will be provided in later update.

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LMLC Detailed Description:  Characteristics template for TSDSI RIT

The description template provides the characteristics description of the TSDSI RIT.

For this characteristic template, it has chosen to address the characteristics that are viewed to be very crucial to assist in evaluation activities for independent evaluation groups, as well as to facilitate the understanding of the RIT.

Channel access: Describe in detail how RIT/SRIT accomplishes initial channel access, (e.g. contention or non-contention based).

Initial channel access is typically accomplished via the “random access procedure” (assuming no dedicated/scheduled resources are allocated). The random access procedure can be contention based (e.g. at initial connection from idle mode) or non-contention based (e.g. during Handover to a new cell). Random access resources and parameters are configured by the network and signaled to the UE (via broadcast or dedicated signaling). Contention based random access procedure encompasses the transmission of a random access preamble by the UE (subject to possible contention with other UEs), followed by a random access response (RAR) in DL (including allocating specific radio resources for the uplink transmission). Afterwards, the UE transmits the initial UL message (e.g. RRC connection Request) using the allocated resources, and wait for a contention resolution message in DL (to confirming access to that UE). The UE could perform multiple attempts until it is successful in accessing the channel or until a timer (supervising the procedure) elapses. Non-contention based random access procedure foresees the assignment of a dedicated random access resource/preamble to a UE (e.g. part of an HO command). This avoids the contention resolution phase, i.e. only the random access preamble and random access response messages are needed to get channel access.

From a PHY perspective, a random access preamble is transmitted (UL) in a PRACH, random access response (DL) in a PDSCH, UL transmission in a PUSCH, and contention resolution message (DL) in a PDSCH.

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Radio interface functional aspects
Multiple access schemes

Which access scheme(s) does the proposal use? Describe in detail the multiple access schemes employed with their main parameters.

–        Downlink and Uplink:

The multiple access is a combination of

●      OFDMA: Synchronous/scheduling-based; the transmission to/from different UEs uses mutually orthogonal frequency assignments. Granularity in frequency assignment: One resource block consisting of 12 subcarriers. Multiple sub-carrier spacings are supported including 15kHz, 30kHz, 60kHz and 120kHz for data (see Item 5.2.3.2.7 and reference therein).

1.         CP-OFDM is applied for downlink. DFT-spread OFDM and CP-OFDM are available for uplink.

2.           Spectral confinement technique(s) (e.g. filtering, windowing, etc.) for a waveform at the transmitter is transparent to the receiver. When such confinement techniques are used, the spectral utilization ratio can be enhanced.

●      TDMA: Transmission to/from different UEs with separation in time. Granularity: One slot consists of 14 OFDM symbols and the physical length of one slot ranges from 0.125ms to 1ms depending on the sub-carrier spacing (for more details on the frame structure, see Item 5.2.3.2.7 and the references therein).

●      SDMA: Possibility to transmit to/from multiple users using the same time/frequency resource (SDMA a.k.a. “multi-user MIMO”) as part of the advanced-antenna capabilities (for more details on the advanced-antenna capabilities, see Item 5.2.3.2.9 and the reference therein)

At least an UL transmission scheme without scheduling grant is supported for initial access.

 

Inter-cell interference suppressed by processing gain of channel coding allowing for a frequency reuse of one (for more details on channel-coding, see Item 5.2.3.2.2.3 and the reference therein).

 

                                                                                                        

(Note: Synchronous means that timing offset between UEs is within cyclic prefix by e.g. timing alignment.)

 

For NB-IoT, the multiple access is a combination of OFDMA, TDMA, where OFDMA and TDMA are as follows

·       OFDMA:

n     UL: DFT-spread OFDM. Granularity in frequency domain: A single sub-carrier with either 3.75 kHz or 15 kHz sub-carrier spacing, or 3, 6, or 12 sub-carriers with a sub-carrier spacing of 15 kHz. A resource block consists of 12 sub-carriers with 15 kHz sub-carrier spacing, or 48 sub-carriers with 3.75 kHz sub-carrier spacing 180 kHz.

n     DL: Granularity in frequency domain: one resource block consisting of 6 or 12 subcarriers with 15 kHz sub-carrier spacing90 or 180 kHz

·       TDMA: Transmission to/from different UEs with separation in time

n     UL: Granularity: One resource unit of 1 ms, 2 ms, 4 ms, 8 ms, with 15 kHz sub-carrier spacing, depending on allocated number of sub-carrier(s); or 32 ms with 3.75 kHz sub-carrier spacing (for more details on the frame structure, see Item 5.2.3.2.7 and the references therein)

n     DL: Granularity: One resource unit (subframe) of length 1 ms.

    Repetition of a transmission is supported

Modulation scheme
What is the baseband modulation scheme? If both data modulation and spreading modulation are required, describe in detail.

Describe the modulation scheme employed for data and control information.

What is the symbol rate after modulation?

–        Downlink:

●      For both data and higher-layer control information: QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM and 256QAM (see [T3.9038.211] sub-clause 7.3.1.2).

●      L1/L2 control: QPSK (see [T3.9038.211] sub-clause 7.3.2.4).

●      Symbol rate: 1344ksymbols/s per 1440kHz resource block (equivalently 168ksymbols/s per 180kHz resource block)

–        Uplink:

●      For both data and higher-layer control information: π/2-BPSK with spectrum shaping, QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM and 256QAM (see [T3.9038.211] sub-clause 6.3.1.2).

●      L1/L2 control: BPSK, π/2-BPSK with spectrum shaping, QPSK (see [T3.9038.211] sub-clause 6.3.2).

●      Symbol rate: 1344ksymbols/s per 1440kHz resource block (equivalently 168ksymbols/s per 180kHz resource block)

The above is at least applied to eMBB.

 

For NB-IoT, the modulation scheme is as follows.

·    Data and higher-layer control: π/2-BPSK (uplink only), π/4-QPSK (uplink only), QPSK

·    L1/L2 control: π/2-BPSK (uplink), QPSK (uplink), QPSK (downlink)

Symbol rate: 168 ksymbols/s per 180 kHz resource block. For UL, less than one resource block may be allocated.

PAPR

What is the RF peak to average power ratio after baseband filtering (dB)? Describe the PAPR (peak-to-average power ratio) reduction algorithms if they are used in the proposed RIT/SRIT.

The PAPR depends on the waveform and the number of component carriers. The single component carrier transmission is assumed herein when providing the PAPR. For DFT-spread OFDM, PAPR would depend on modulation scheme as well.

 

For uplink using DFT-spread OFDM, the cubic metric (CM) can also be used as one of the methods of predicting the power de-rating from signal modulation characteristics, if needed.

 

–        Downlink:

The PAPR is 8.4dB (99.9%)

–        Uplink:

●      For CP-OFDM:

The PAPR is 8.4dB (99.9%)

●      For DFT-spread OFDM:

The PAPR is provided in the table below.

Modulation π/2 BPSK with Spectrum shaping using 1+D filter QPSK 16QAM 64QAM 256QAM
PAPR (99.9%) 1.75 dB 5.8 dB 6.5 dB 6.6 dB 6.7 dB
CM

(99.9%)

0.3 dB 1.2 dB 2.1 dB 2.3 dB 2.4 dB

 

 Any PAPR-reduction algorithm is transmitter-implementation specific for uplink and downlink.

 

 

For NB-IoT,                       

–        Downlink:

The PAPR is 8.0dB (99.9%) on 180kHz resource.

–        Uplink:  

The PAPR is 0.23 – 5.6 dB (99.9 %) depending on sub-carriers allocated for available NB-IoT UL modulation.

 

 

Error control coding scheme and interleaving
Provide details of error control coding scheme for both downlink and uplink.

For example,

–   FEC or other schemes?

The proponents can provide additional information on the decoding schemes.

–        Downlink and Uplink:

●      For data: Rate 1/3 or 1/5 Low density parity check (LDPC) coding, combined with rate matching based on puncturing/repetition to achieve a desired overall code rate (For more details, see [T3.9038.212] sub-clauses 5.3.2). LDPC channel coder facilitates low-latency and high-throughput decoder implementations.

●      For L1/L2 control: For DCI (Downlink Control Information)/UCI (Uplink Control Information) size larger than 11 bits, Polar coding, combined with rate matching based on puncturing/repetition to achieve a desired overall code rate (For more details, see [T3.9038.212] sub-clauses 5.3.1). Otherwise, repetition for 1-bit; simplex coding for 2-bit; reedmuller coding for 3~11-bit DCI/UCI size.

The above scheme is at least applied to eMBB.

Decoding mechanism is receiver-implementation specific

 For NB-IoT, the coding scheme is as follows:

·       For data: Rate 1/3 Turbo coding in UL, and rate-1/3 tail-biting convolutional coding in DL, each combined with rate matching based on puncturing/repetition to achieve a desired overall code rate; one transport block can be mapped to one or multiple resource units (for more details, see [T3.9036.212] sub-clause 6.2)

·       For L1/L2 control: For L1/L2 control: Rate-1/3 tail-biting convolutional coding. Special block codes for some L1/L2 control signaling (For more details, see [T3.9036.212] sub-clauses 5.1.3.1)

 

Describe the bit interleaving scheme for both uplink and downlink.

–        Downlink:

●      For data: bit interleaver is performed for LDPC coding after rate-matching (For more details, see [T3.9038.212] sub-clauses 5.4.2.2)

●      For L1/L2 control: Bit interleaving is performed as part of the encoding process for Polar coding (For more details, see [T3.9038.212] sub-clauses 5.4.1.1)

–        Uplink:

●      For data: bit interleaver is performed for LDPC coding after rate-matching (For more details, see [T3.9038.212] sub-clauses 5.4.2.2)

●      For L1/L2 control: Bit interleaving is performed for Polar coding after rate-matching (For more details, see [T3.9038.212] sub-clauses 5.4.1.3)

The above scheme is at least applied to eMBB.

 NB-IOT 

Uplink

For Control (Format 2) : Bit interleaver is not applied

For Data (Format1): Bit interleaver is performed after rate matching only for multitone transmissions (3,6,12). For single tone transmissions it is not applicable..( For more details

     See [T3.9036.212]

 

-Downlink

Bit interleaver is not applied

 

Describe channel tracking capabilities (e.g. channel tracking algorithm, pilot symbol configuration, etc.) to accommodate rapidly changing delay spread profile.

To support channel tracking, different types of reference signals can be transmitted on downlink and uplink respectively.

–        Downlink:

●        Primary and Secondary Synchronization signals (PSS and SSS) are transmitted periodically to the cell. The periodicity of these signals is network configurable. UEs can detect and maintain the cell timing based on these signals. If the gNB implements hybrid beamforming, then the PSS and SSS are transmitted separately to each analogue beam. Network can configure multiple PSS and SSS in frequency domain.

●        UE-specific Demodulation RS (DM-RS) for PDCCH can be used for downlink channel estimation for coherent demodulation of PDCCH (Physical Downlink Control Channel). DM-RS for PDCCH is transmitted together with the PDCCH.

●       UE-specific Demodulation RS (DM-RS) for PDSCH can be used for downlink channel estimation for coherent demodulation of PDSCH (Physical Downlink Shared Channel). DM-RS for PDSCH is transmitted together with the PDSCH.

●       UE-specific Phase Tracking RS (PT-RS) can be used in addition to the DM-RS for PDSCH for correcting common phase error between PDSCH symbols not containing DM-RS. It may also be used for Doppler and time varying channel tracking. PT-RS for PDSCH is transmitted together with the PDSCH upon need.

●       UE-specific Channel State Information RS (CSI-RS) can be used for estimation of channel-state information (CSI) to further prepare feedback reporting to gNB to assist in MCS selection, beamforming, MIMO rank selection and resource allocation. CSI-RS transmissions are transmitted periodically, aperiodically, and semi-persistently on a configurable rate by the gNB. CSI-RS also can be used for interference measurement and fine frequency/time tracking purposes.

–        Uplink:

●        UE-specific Demodulation RS (DM-RS) for PUCCH can be used for uplink channel estimation for coherent demodulation of PUCCH (Physical Uplink Control Channel). DM-RS for PUCCH is transmitted together with the PUCCH.

●        UE-specific Demodulation RS (DM-RS) for PUSCH can be used for uplink channel estimation for coherent demodulation of PUSCH (Physical Uplink Shared Channel). DM-RS for PUSCH is transmitted together with the PUSCH.

●        UE-specific Phase Tracking RS (PT-RS) can be used in addition to the DM-RS for PUSCH for correcting common phase error between PUSCH symbols not containing DM-RS. It may also be used for Doppler and time varying channel tracking. DM-RS for PUSCH is transmitted together with the PUSCH upon need.

●        UE-specific Sounding RS (SRS) can be used for estimation of uplink channel-state information to assist uplink scheduling, uplink power control, as well as assist the downlink transmission (e.g. the downlink beamforming in the scenario with UL/DL reciprocity). SRS transmissions are transmitted periodically aperiodically, and semi-persistently by the UE on a gNB configurable rate.

Details of channel-tracking/estimation algorithms are receiver-implementation specific, and not part of the specification.

Details of channel-tracking/estimation algorithms are receiver-implementation specific, e.g. MMSE-based channel estimation with appropriate interpolation in time and frequency domain could be used.

 NB-IOT

 NB-IoT is based on following signals transmitted in the downlink: the primary and secondary narrowband synchronization signals. The narrowband primary synchronization sequence is transmitted over 11 sub-carriers from the first subcarrier to the eleventh subcarrier in the sixth subframe of each frame, and the narrowband secondary synchronization sequence is transmitted over 12 sub-carriers in the NB-IoT carrier in the tenth subframe of every other frame.

 ●       Demodulation RS (DM-RS) for NPUSCH format 1&2 (used for Data and control respectively) can be used for uplink channel estimation for coherent demodulation of NPUSCH F1 & F2 (Narrowband Physical Uplink Shared Channel Format 1 and 2). DM-RS for NPUSCH F1& F2 is transmitted together with the NPUSCH F1 & F2. They are not UE specific, as they do not depend on RNTI. The reference sequence generation is different for single tone and multi tone. For more details refer to [T3.9036.211]

 For single-tone NPUSCH with UL-SCH demodulation, uplink demodulation reference signals are transmitted in the 4- th block of the slot for 15 kHz subcarrier spacing, and in the 5-th block of the slot for 3.75 kHz subcarrier spacing. For multi-tone NPUSCH with UL-SCH demodulation, uplink demodulation reference signals are transmitted in the 4-th block of the slot. The uplink demodulation reference signals sequence length is 16 for single-tone NPUSCH with ULSCH transmission, and equals the size (number of sub-carriers) of the assigned resource for multi-tone transmission. For single-tone NPUSCH with UL-SCH transmission, multiple narrow band reference signals can be created: – Based on different base sequences; – A common Gold sequence. For multi-tone NPUSCH with UL-SCH transmission, multiple narrow band reference signals are created: – Based on different base sequences; – Different cyclic shifts of the same sequence. For NPUSCH with ACK/NAK demodulation, uplink demodulation reference signals are transmitted in the 3-rd, 4-th and 5-th block of the slot for 15 kHz subcarrier spacing, and in the 1-st, 2-nd and 3-rd block of the slot for 3.75 kHz subcarrier spacing. Multiple narrow band reference signals can be created: – Based on different base sequences; – A common Gold sequence; – Different orthogonal sequences (OCC). 

Physical channel structure and multiplexing
What is the physical channel bit rate (M or Gbit/s) for supported bandwidths?

i.e., the product of the modulation symbol rate (in symbols per second), bits per modulation symbol, and the number of streams supported by the antenna system.

The physical channel bit rate depends on the modulation scheme, number of spatial-multiplexing layer, number of resource blocks in the channel bandwidth and the subcarrier spacing used. The physical channel bit rate per layer can be expressed as

Rlayer = Nmod x NRB x 2µ x 168 kbps

where                                                    

–     Nmod is the number of bits per modulation symbol for the applied modulation scheme (QPSK: 2, 16QAM: 4, 64QAM: 6, 256QAM: 8)

–     NRB is the number of resource blocks in the aggregated frequency domain which depends on the channel bandwidth.

–    µ depends on the subcarrier spacing, , given by

For example, a 400 MHz carrier with 264 resource blocks using 120 kHz subcarrier spacing, , and 256QAM modulation results in a physical channel bit rate of 2.8 Gbit/s per layer.

NB-IOT

The physical channel bit rate depends on the modulation scheme, number of tones used in the channel bandwidth in the resource block and the subcarrier spacing used. The physical channel bit rate per user can be expressed as :

Uplink

NPUSCH Format 1

R =  Nmod x Ntone  x 12 kbps for carrier spacing of 15kHz

where                                                    

–     Nmod is the number of bits per modulation symbol for the applied modulation scheme (QPSK: 2, BPSK:1)

–     Ntone  is the number of tones . This can be 1,3,6,12

R =  Nmod x 3 kbps for carrier spacing of 3.75kHz

Downlink

R =  Nmod x 12  x 12 kbps 

Layer 1 and Layer 2 overhead estimation.

Describe how the RIT/SRIT accounts for all layer 1 (PHY) and layer 2 (MAC) overhead and provide an accurate estimate that includes static and dynamic overheads.

–        Downlink

The downlink L1/L2 overhead includes:

1.       Different types of reference signals

a.       Demodulation reference signals for PDSCH (DMRS-PDSCH)

b.       Phase-tracking reference signals for PDSCH (PTRS-PDSCH)

c.        Demodulation reference signals for PDCCH

d.       Reference signals specifically targeting estimation of channel-state information (CSI-RS)

e.        Tracking reference signals (TRS)

2.       L1/L2 control signalling transmitted on the up to three first OFDM symbols of each slot

3.       Synchronization signals and physical broadcast control channel including demodulation reference signals included in the SS/PBCH block

4.       PDU headers in L2 sub-layers (MAC/RLC/PDCP)

The overhead due to different type of reference signals is given in the table below. Note that demodulation reference signals for PDCCH is included in the PDCCH overhead.

Reference signal type Example configurations Overhead for example configurations
DMRS-PDSCH As examples, DMRS can occupy 1/3, ½, or one full OFDM symbol. 1, 2, 3 or 4 symbols per slot can be configured to carry DMRS. 2.4 % to 29 %
PTRS- PDSCH 1 resource elements in frequency domain every second or fourth resource block. PTRS is mainly intended for FR2. 0.2% or 0.5 % when configured.
CSI-RS 1 resource element per resource block per antenna port per CSI-RS periodicity 0.25 % for 8 antenna ports transmitted every 20 ms with 15 kHz subcarrier spacing
TRS 2 slots with 1/2 symbol in each slot per transmission period 0.36 % or 0.18% respectively for 20 ms and 40ms periodicity

The overhead due to the L1/L2 control signalling is depending on the size and periodicity of the configured CORESET in the cell and includes the overhead from the PDCCH demodulation reference signals. If the CORESET is transmitted in every slot, maximum control channel overhead is 21% assuming three symbols and whole carrier bandwidth used for CORESET, while a more typical overhead is 7% when 1/3 of the time and frequency resources in the first three symbols of a slot is allocated to PDCCH.

The overhead due to the SS/PBCH block is given by the number of SS/PBCH blocks transmitted within the SS/PBCH block period, the SS/PBCH block periodicity and the subcarrier spacing. Assuming a 100 resource block wide carrier, the overhead for 20 ms periodicity is in the range of 0.6 % to 2.3 % if the maximum number of SS/PBCH blocks are transmitted.

–        Uplink

L1/L2 overhead includes:

1.       Different types of reference signals

a.       Demodulation reference signal for PUSCH

b.       Demodulation reference signal for PUCCH

c.        Phase-tracking reference signals

a.       Sounding reference signal (SRS) used for uplink channel-state estimation at the network side

2.       L1/L2 control signalling transmitted on a configurable amount of resources (see also Item 4.2.3.2.4.5)

3.       L2 control overhead due to e.g., random access, uplink time-alignment control, power headroom reports and buffer-status reports

4.       PDU headers in L2 layers (MAC/RLC/PDCP)

The overhead due to due to demodulation reference signal for PUSCH is the same as the overhead for demodulation reference signal for PDSCH, i.e.  4 % to 29 % depending on number of symbols configured. Also, the phase-tracking reference signal overhead is the same in UL as in DL.

The overhead due to periodic SRS is depending on the number of symbols configured subcarrier spacing and periodicity. For 20 ms periodicity, the overhead is in the range of 0.4% to 1.4% assuming15 kHz subcarrier spacing.

Amount of uplink resources reserved for random access depends on the configuration.

The relative overhead due to uplink time-alignment control depends on the configuration and the number of active UEs within a cell.

The amount of overhead for buffer status reports depends on the configuration.

The amount of overhead caused by 4 highly depends on the data packet size.

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For NB-IoT, the overhead from Narrowband RS (NRS) is dependent on the number of cell-specific antenna ports N (1 or 2) and equals 8 x N / 168 %.

The overhead from NB-IoT downlink control signaling is dependent on the amount of data to be transmitted. For small infrequent data transmissions, the downlink transmissions are dominated by the L2 signaling during the connection setup. The overhead from L1 signaling is dependent on the configured scheduling cycle.

The overhead due to Narrowband synchronization signal and Narrowband system information broadcast messages is only applicable to the NB-IoT anchor carrier. The actual overhead depends on the broadcasted system information messages and their periodicity. The overhead can be estimated to be around 26.25%.

 

For NB-IoT UL, data and control are sharing the same resources and the overhead from L1/L2 control signaling depend on the scheduled traffic in the DL. The UL control signaling is dominated by RLC and HARQ positive or negative acknowledgments. A typical NB-IoT NPRACH overhead is in the order of 5 %.

Variable bit rate capabilities:

Describe how the proposal supports different applications and services with various bit rate requirements.

For a given combination of modulation scheme, code rate, and number of spatial-multiplexing layers, the data rate available to a user can be controlled by the scheduler by assigning different number of resource blocks for the transmission. In case of multiple services, the available/assigned resource, and thus the available data rate, is shared between the services.

Variable payload capabilities:

Describe how the RIT/SRIT supports IP-based application layer protocols/services (e.g., VoIP, video-streaming, interactive gaming, etc.) with variable-size payloads.

See also 5.2.3.2.4.3.

 

The transport-block size can vary between X bits and Y bits. The number of bits per transport block can be set with a fine granularity.

See [T3.9038.214] sub-clause 5.1.3.2 for details.

 

For NB-IoT, the maximum transport block size is 680 bits in the DL and 1000 bits in UL for the lowest UE category and 2536 bits for both DL and UL for the highest UE category.

See [T3.9036.213] sub-clause 16.4.1.5.1 for details.

Signalling transmission scheme:

Describe how transmission schemes are different for signalling/control from that of user data.

–        Downlink

L1/L2 control signalling is transmitted in assigned resources time and frequency multiplexed with data within the bandwidth part (BWP, see item 5.2.3.2.8.1). Control signalling is limited to QPSK modulation (QPSK, 16QAM, 64QAM and 256QAM for data). Control signalling error correcting codes are polar codes (LDPC codes for data).

–        Uplink                  

L1/L2 control signalling transmitted in assigned resources and can be time and frequency multiplexed with data within the BWP. L1/L2 control signalling can also be multiplexed with data on the PUSCH. Modulation schemes for L1/L2 control signalling is π/2-BPSK, BPSK and QPSK. Control signalling error correcting codes are block codes for small payload and polar codes for larger payloads (LDPC codes for data).

 

 

For both downlink and uplink, higher-layer signalling (e.g. MAC, RLC, PDCP headers and RRC signalling) is carried within transport blocks and thus transmitted using the same physical-layer transmitter processing as user data.

 

For NB-IoT the L1/L2 control signaling is confined to a configured set of resource blocks and can be time multiplexed with data and are transmitted in scheduled subframes

Small signalling overhead

Signalling overhead refers to the radio resource that is required by the signalling divided by the total radio resource which is used to complete a transmission of a packet. The signalling includes necessary messages exchanged in DL and UL directions during a signalling mechanism, and Layer 2 protocol header for the data packet.

Describe how the RIT/SRIT supports efficient mechanism to provide small signalling overhead in case of small packet transmissions.

There are multiple control channel formats that have included, and provide various levels of overhead. There is an overhead versus scheduling flexibility trade-off that can be used by the scheduler to reduce the signalling overhead.

 

NB-IOT: In case of small data packet transmission, the L1/L2 control signalling during the connection setup procedure is dominating the uplink and downlink transmissions. To minimize this overhead NB-IoT, allows a UE to resume of an earlier connection. As an alternative, the data can be transmitted over the control plane, which eliminates the need to setup the data plane connection.

NOTES:

1.    TSDSI’s RIT is one of five proposals for the IMT 2020 RIT/SRIT.

The other four are from: 3GPP,  South Korea, China, and ETSI/DECT Forum.  All but the latter are based on 3GPP “5G NR.”

  • The Candidate RIT/SRIT submission from China, as acknowledged in IMT-2020/5, is technically identical to the 5G NR RIT submitted from 3GPP as acknowledged in IMT-2020/3.
  • The candidate RIT/SRIT submission from South Korea, as acknowledged in IMT-2020/4, is technically identical to the 5G NR RIT submitted from 3GPP as acknowledged in IMT-2020/3.

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2.   3GPP release 16:

As we have stated numerous times, 3GPP’s final IMT 2020 RIT/SRIT submission to ITU-R  WP 5D will be largely based on 3GPP release 16 (with perhaps some elements of release 15 also included).  From the 3GPP website 

Release 16 will meet the ITU IMT-2020 submission requirements and the time-plan as outlined in RP-172101.

Some Background on 3GPP Release 16:

Here is the active status of 3GPP release 16 project.

The 3GPP release 16 completion date has been delayed by at least 3 months (1Q 2020) with no new completion date specified at this time.

3. DECT Forum/ETSI submission for IMT 2020 SRIT:

From a July 1, 2019 contribution to ITU-R WP5D Brazil meeting:

DECT Forum would like to announce its support and endorsement for the IMT-2020 contribution from ETSI for an SRIT candidate for inclusion in IMT-2020.   The proposed SRIT consists of two component RITs:
DECT-2020 NR RIT
3GPP 5G CANDIDATE FOR INCLUSION IN IMT-2020: SUBMISSION 2 FOR IMT-2020 (RIT)

DECT Forum confirms its continuation as a proponent of this IMT-2020 proposal.

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References:

India delays 5G trials; Advocates “the Indian Way” within ITU-R WP 5D for IMT 2020

ATIS endorses 3GPP IMT 2020 RIT submission to ITU-R WP 5D; sees no need for separate LMLC India national option

3GPP Workshop: IMT 2020 Submission to ITU-R WP5D and Timelines for 5G Standards Completion

TSDSI and the 5G IA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to foster collaboration on Research, Standards, Regulations and Policies

ITU-R Proposal: Report on IMT-2020 for remote sparsely populated areas providing high data rate coverage

 

Huawei and China Telecom Jointly Release 5G Super Uplink Innovation Solution

As a large number of new pre-standard 5G services emerge, they are posing higher requirements on the uplink rate and latency. During MWC2019 in Shanghai, China Telecom and Huawei jointly released the 5G Super Uplink Joint Technology Innovation solution to accommodate those applications.

The 5G Super Uplink solution proposes the innovative networking technology featuring TDD/FDD coordination, high-band/low-band complementation, and time/frequency domain aggregation, which achieves an unprecedented uplink rate of 5G networks and reduces latency over the air interface. This solution truly redefined 5G networks based on industry requirements.

At the “Hello 5G Encouraging the Future” 5G Innovation Cooperation Conference held in April this year, China Telecom formulated the networking strategy that depends on the standalone (SA) networking and applies three SA features of URLLC, eMBB, and eMTC to meet 2B/2C requirements. China Telecom has extensively explored 5G applications in vertical industries such as government affairs, transportation, ecosystem, party building, healthcare, tourism, policing, Internet of Vehicles (IoV), education, and manufacturing. In the future 2B/2C ecosystem, large bandwidth and low latency are the focus of services. For example, the 4K HD video backhaul will give rise to the boom of new media, Internet celebrity live broadcast, and other services, bringing immersive experience to the audience. Drone services, unmanned driving, and telemedicine have higher requirements on the uplink rate and network latency.

The 5G Super Uplink solution proposed by China Telecom and Huawei implements the time-frequency domain aggregation of TDD and FDD in the uplink frequency band. Therefore, the solution can increase uplink spectrum resources of NR, boost the uplink capability of the 5G network, reduce latency, and improve the utilization rate of the uplink spectrum of 2.1 GHz/1.8 GHz. At the launch event, the Proof of Concept (PoC) of “Super Uplink” was demonstrated. The test results showed that the experienced uplink rate of 5G UEs in the cell center was increased by 20% to 60%, the experienced uplink rate of 5G UEs at the cell edge was increased to 2 to 4 times, the air interface latency was reduced by about 30%, and the URLLC services were enabled. Huawei Balong 5000 chipset, customer-premises equipment (CPE), and Mate 20 X were also displayed at the event. Super Uplink is supported from end to end by Huawei 5G technologies.

Huawei Technologies

Corporation Limited, third from left Ding Yun, Executive Director of the Board President, Carrier Business Group Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., third from right Yang Chaobin, President of 5G Product Line, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., second from right.  Photo courtesy of Huawei Technologies
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Liu Guiqing, executive vice president of China Telecom Group Co., Ltd., said: “The five ecosystems extend to 5G and become the important engine for China Telecom’s continuous growth. China Telecom adheres to the philosophy of “Customer First, Attentive Service”, insists on formulating standards first and leading technology development, and pioneers the practice of 5G network innovation. To provide better 5G experience, optimize customers’ service awareness, and enhance differentiated competitiveness in the market, China Telecom cooperates with Huawei to propose the innovative 5G networking technology featuring TDD/FDD coordination, high-band/low-band complementation, and time/frequency domain aggregation. This solution aims to further improve the uplink data capability and reduce latency, providing better development space for vertical industry applications. China Telecom will work with industry partners to seek the optimal network experience solution and promote the prosperity of the industry.”

Ryan Ding, executive director, CEO of the Carrier BG of Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., commented: “5G not only changes everyday life but also revolutionizes human society. Service requirements are driving the development of 5G technologies. 5G industry innovation represents uplink ultra-large bandwidth, ultra-low latency, end-to-end slicing, and mobile edge computing (MEC). Based on the digital requirements of the industry, Huawei and China Telecom proposed the 5G Super Uplink Joint Technology Innovation solution. It is another breakthrough after Huawei CloudAIR solution.”

Yang Chaobin, president of 5G Product Line, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., noted: “The Super Uplink solution can meet the service requirements of large bandwidth and low latency at the same time. We are honored to work with China Telecom to implement the test and verification of 5G Super Uplink. Huawei 5G supports end-to-end Super Uplink and co-deployment of NSA and SA. Huawei will help industry partners continuously innovate to create the optimal 5G experience.”

China Telecom and Huawei continue to cooperate closely in technological innovation, promote 5G innovation, and contribute to 5G industry development. Huawei will support the strategic goal of China Telecom’s 5G development as always, and deepen cooperation on Super Uplink to help China Telecom take the lead in the new era of a 5G intelligent world.

Contact:
Nash Chong
nash.chong@maxusglobal.com

Reference:

https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/07/01/1876788/0/en/China-Telecom-and-Huawei-Jointly-Release-5G-Super-Uplink-Innovation-Solution.html

 

Philippines’ Globe Telecom to deploy “Air Fiber 5G” this month

Globe Telecom has made the Philippines the first country in Southeast Asia to offer commercial “5G” fixed wireless internet.  The rollout of these services, from early July 2019, form part of Globe’s efforts to connect two million homes across the Philippines by 2020.

The at home ‘Air Fiber 5G’ postpaid plans that Globe has released offer Filipinos the option of high bandwidth and low latency services, especially given the challenge of rolling out fiber optic cables across the country.

“The arrival of 5G has caused excitement in the global world of telecommunications,” said Ernest Cu, president and CEO of Globe Telecom. “Today, we made a crucial step in fulfilling our goal of connecting more Filipino homes, and our vision of bringing first-world Internet to the Philippines,” Cu added.

The Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G postpaid plans will offer fiber-like speeds up to 100Mbps.  Super-sized data packages of up to 2 terabytes will be initially available in select areas in Pasig, Cavite, and Bulacan.

Globe at Home Air Fiber 5G will be available to eligible customers in July 2019. Plans come at P1899 per month for up to 20Mbps, P2499 for up to 50Mbps and P2899 for up to 100Mbps. All come with up to 2TB data capacity.

“Prior to Air Fiber 5G, we have aggressively utilized fixed wireless solutions to connect more homes and businesses to the internet over airwaves,” said Cu. “This strategy resulted in home broadband subscriber base increasing by 55.1 per cent to 1.7 million in the first three months of 2019 from 1.1 million in the same period in 2016.”

The Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G modem

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“Globe At Home Air Fiber 5G makes use of fixed location wireless radios instead of fiber optic cables which enables the company to go over the circuitous approval process of deploying a fiber optic cable – a task which proves to be arduous and involves securing multiple permits from local government units (LGUs),” Cu said.

“The right of process can sometimes take years to obtain, causing drastic delays in fiber optic roll-out completion,” Cu added.

Alberto de Larrazabal, Globe’s chief commercial officer, told reporters in the Philippines that Globe would use Huawei’s equipment, including radios and modems, to deliver “5G quality broadband internet.”

[Huawei and Finland’s Nokia were Globe’s equipment providers for its 4G-LTE service.]

Cu said that the company has been spending over 21% of its annual total revenues to upgrade and expand its telecommunication and IT infrastructure since 2012. “We have been ramping up our capital spend from P20.3 billion in 2012 to P43.3 billion in 2018, in order to provide our customers better broadband services,” he said.

Editor’s Notes:

  1. The Philippines ranks 107th among 178 countries in fixed broadband speed at 19.55 megabits per second (Mbps) versus the global average of 59.6 Mbps. Among 140 countries, it ranks 107th in terms of mobile internet speed at 15.10 Mbps, nearly half of the 27.22 Mbps global average.
  2. Globe is owned by Philippine conglomerate Ayala Corp, with Singapore Telecommunications Ltd holding a minority stake.

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References:

https://www.globe.com.ph/about-us/newsroom/consumer/globe-at-home-air-fiber-5g.html

https://businessmirror.com.ph/2019/06/26/globe-at-home-air-fiber-5g-unveiled-to-connect-more-filipinos/

https://sg.channelasia.tech/article/663513/philippines-rolls-commercial-5g-services-through-globe-telecom/

https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/scitech/technology/699258/faster-internet-service-unveiled-to-connect-more-filipinos-at-home/story/

https://www.bworldonline.com/globe-launches-first-5g-service-in-southeast-asia/

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2018/11/26/huaweis-all-bands-go-to-5g-strategy-explained-partnership-with-china-telecom-described/

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