The association has confirmed that two of its upcoming releases will be put back to June

Last month, the 3GPP announced it was cancelling all face-to-face meetings from February until May due to concerns about the coronavirus. Now, the association has been forced to delay the release of its second-batch of 5G standards, ‘Release 16’, until June.

Operators are expecting Release 16 to greatly enhance standalone 5G networks, with many vendors and carriers both waiting on the update before fully deploying their ‘true 5G’ networks.
The association notes that this will not have a knock-on effect to the Release 16 ASN.1 and OpenAPI specifications, which will go ahead in June as previous scheduled. However, it will have a direct impact on the next overall release planned for 2021, ‘Release 17’, setting it back three months to September. 
Virtual meetings are being arranged to ensure that the projects are not delayed further, even if the coronavirus pandemic continues to make in-person discussion off-limits.
Exactly how this will affect current 5G rollouts is unclear, with 3GPP declining to comment on specifics. However, Release 16 was scheduled to include some important standards for the so-called second phase of 5G deployment, including sections dedicated to industrial IoT and vehicle-to-everything deployments, so it could conceivably put a spanner in the works for the projects of some operators.
How will this delay affect the pace at which 5G impacts industry? Finds out from world-leading specialists at this year’s 5GLIVE
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