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Delays to next wave of 5G is the price to pay for fast-tracked non-standalone

The 3GPP decision to fast-track a subset of the 5G New Radio (NR) specifications – to give operators like AT&T the chance to deploy 5G six months earlier than previously expected – has caused a ripple effect on other projects within Releases 15 and 16, which will define broad 5G RAN, core and system architecture standards. Critics of the splitting of the Release 15 radio specs have said it will delay essential aspects which should have been finalized in tandem with the radio. In particular, Nokia and others raised concerns that the work on the packet core and the RAN was becoming too separate. The initial, accelerated NR standards define a non-standalone version (which requires an LTE anchor network, and…

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