In the October 2022 issue of “Highlights,” Puneet Jain, the TSG SA WG2 Chair, published an article on the progress of the Rel-18 Stage-2 work within the working group. The article outlines the study items that were developed to meet the new requirements of Rel-18, as well as those that were created due to unmet requirements from Rel-17. For more information, please refer to the article titled “A Release 18 Update.”
Wanshi Chen, the TSG RAN Chair, recently presented his RAN Rel-18 Project Update, highlighting the significance of Release 18 as the beginning of 5G-Advanced. The RAN Working Group has meticulously planned potential RAN Rel-18 projects, starting from the first RAN Rel-18 workshop held in June 2021.
During RAN#94-e, after multiple rounds of email discussion and conference calls, the Working Group approved a RAN1/2/3-led Rel-18 package and one RAN4-led Rel-18 WI, along with its corresponding impact analysis. The high-level overview of the corresponding TU budget was endorsed, and all the corresponding SIDs/WIDs were approved in RAN#94-e.
In RAN#95-e, the focus was on RAN4-led projects, and the Working Group approved the RAN4-led Rel-18 package smoothly after a fruitful email discussion in February 2022. The corresponding TU budget was endorsed and consolidated, and all the corresponding RAN4-led Rel-18 SIDs/WIDs were also approved in RAN#95-e.
Thus, with the completion of the package approval process for RAN Rel-18, combining both RAN#94-e and RAN#95-e, the Working Group has made significant progress towards the development of 5G-Advanced.
TSG Rel-18 timeline & content
The Rel-18 Work Plan
As new studies and the detailed specification work begins, the Work Plan will be the place to monitor the growth of Release 18. Every Plenary set of meetings sees a major update to the 3GPP Work Plan.
The latest Work Plan is always available for download at https://www.3gpp.org/specifications/work-plan
Some Background on Release 18
- Puneet Jain, the 3GPP Working Group SA2 Chair, provided an update on Release 18 in an article published in October 2022. The article lists the study items based on new requirements for Rel-18 and those created as a result of unfulfilled Rel-17 requirements. Additionally, there was a news story published on July 6, 2021, about advanced plans for 5G. Wanshi Chen, the TSG RAN Chair, also gave a webinar presentation on the evolution towards 5G-Advanced.
- The release description for Release 18, TR21.918, is set to be approved and published at the end of the release, with draft versions available prior to that. Further information about Release 18 was discussed in an ATIS webinar on February 2, 2023, and is available for replay.
About the ‘5G Advanced’ logo
An official 5G-Advanced logo has been introduced for use on 3GPP Reports and Specifications, starting from Release-18. The decision to adopt the new marker was made during the 3GPP Project Coordination Group (PCG#46-e Meeting) in April 2021. Since the early stages of LTE work in 2008, the PCG has approved the use of distinct 3GPP markers to differentiate new release capabilities and services that they offer. These markers, whether ‘LTE’ or ‘5G’, have provided the industry with greater clarity in discussions with partners, customers, and within the 3GPP community.