3GPP member companies, aka, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project, the group responsible for developing international cellular standards, are hailing the completion of 5G’s Release 16. However COVID-19 shines a too bright light on the reality that Release 17, originally due for completion in 2021, will likely suffer a four-month delay that could push its finalization into 2022.
Release 16, the catalyst for “standalone” 5G networks that promises increased upload and download speeds, as well as supporting 5G vehicle-to-everything (V2X) and industrial IoT deployments, is a major step forward on the path to 5G performance.
Following confirmation of Release 16, Venture Beat today reported Ericsson publicized its release of standalone 5G software which has already been tested by T-Mobile and Telstra on their commercial networks.
News of Release 17’s delay, however, puts device makers in a difficult position. As with past updates and technological advancements, Apple, Samsung, and Google use the yearly holiday season to showcase and sell their new wares. Although the 2021 holiday seasons may not include the latest and greatest bling that device makers had hoped for, 2022 holds promise for rolling out advanced features such as NR-Light that will give 5G smartwatches the bandwidth to record and share videos over cellular networks.
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