3GPP Provides Details on 6G Timeline

3GPP, the creator mobile specifications that forms the basis of 3G, 4G & 5G mobile standards recently reached the 25 years milestone. For anyone not familiar with 3GPP working, etc., please refer to our introductory tutorial here. 3GPP recently committed to continue producing specifications for 6G.

At the recently concluded TSG RAN and SA Plenaries in Edinburgh, UK, a timeline was decided for 6G. Delighted to see that it is inline with our initial vision that we proposed back in 2020. 

The following is the High-level Considerations for 6G Timeline from RP-233985:

  • First TSG-wide 6G workshop is expected to be in March 2025
    • Right before the planned Rel-19 RAN1 functional freeze (June 2025). Detailed information for the workshop is TBD
  • Organization of a 3GPP Stage 1 workshop on IMT-2030 use cases is being discussed separately
    • Refer to SP-231619 
  • Studies for 6G in 3GPP are expected to start from Release 20
    • Requirements studies:
      • SA1 SID is expected to be approved in Sept’2024. 
      • RAN plenary SID (e.g., radio requirements and KPIs) is expected to be approved TBD (to be decided at RAN#103)
    •  Technology studies:
      • SA2 SID is expected to be approved in June’2025. Other SA-WG SIDs (e.g., Security, etc.) are expected to be approved TBD
      • RAN-WG SIDs are expected to be approved in June’2025
      • CT-WG SIDs are expected to be approved TBD
  • IMT-2030 submission and normative work for 6G in 3GPP are expected to start from Release 21
    • Release 21 is expected to produce the 1st set of 3GPP 6G technical specifications, and will be the release for IMT-2030 submission before 2030
    • Release 21 is expected to be delivered with a single drop (i.e., a single code freeze)
  • Target TSG#103 (March’2024) for the remaining detailed 6G timeline decisions

The following is 3GPP Stage 1 Workshop on IMT 2030 Use cases plan from SP-231619

  • The aim is to bring SA1 and 3GPP closer to the work done by different research global/regional research organizations and others regarding 6G use cases.
    • 2 to 2.5 day workshop
    • Presentations from 3GPP MRPs (e.g. GSMA, 5GAA, 5GICIA, …), regional research organizations, global organizations/institutions (e.g. NGMN, ITU-R). 
  • The workshop will be a face-to-face ad-hoc meeting and participation will not accrue any 3GPP voting rights.
    • Conference-style event with a restricted agenda
    • Presentations will be by invitation only
    • There will be no company contributions
  • When: 8-10 May (ends by Friday at 14:00)
  • Where: Europe, The Netherlands (TBC)
  • Registration: Through the 3GPP portal. 
    • Deadline 1 month before the event.

Surely in meantime we will hear a lot of 6G discussion, whether we like it or not.

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