The 5G standard is finally finished with new standalone specification

Originally posted on June 15, 2018 on TheVerge.com

It’s been a long time coming, but there’s finally a finished 5G standard. Earlier this week, the 3GPP — the international group that governs cellular standards — officially signed off on the standalone 5G New Radio (NR) spec. It’s another major step toward next-generation cellular networks finally becoming a reality.

Now, if you’ve been paying attention to the cellular industry, this may sound familiar and for good reason: the 3GPP also announced a finished 5G standard in December 2017. The difference is that the December specification was for the non-standalone version of 5G NR, which would still be built on top of existing legacy LTE networks. The agreed-upon specification from this week is the standalone version of 5G, which allows for new deployments of 5G in places that didn’t necessarily have that existing infrastructure.

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