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Network adaptation woes in wake of 3GPP Release 15 late drop

The third wave of the 3GPP Release 15 standards – the so-called ‘late drop’ – has been released, several months later than originally expected. They were ratified at a recent meeting of the 3GPP RAN group in Shenzhen, China. This was not accompanied by much fanfare – it mainly consists of highly detailed technical specs, many concerned with dual connectivity (see separate item). However, the existence of multiple waves of standards, and the delay to the third of these, suggests the 3GPP process is struggling to adapt to the extreme complexity of modern networks. The first set of Release 15 specs defined the Non-Standalone radio network, a subset of the full standard which was fast-tracked, under pressure from operators led…

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