The second phase of the 3GPP 5G standardisation process, 5G-Advanced brings a new wave of wireless
innovations that will push technology boundaries in three broad directions: Performance Improvements, Better Management and Greater Efficiency, and Enhancement for Specific Use Cases.
This document focuses primarily on 3GPP Rel-18 – the inaugural release of 5G-Advanced. Initial work on
Rel-18 in 3GPP started in 2022 (just before the finalisation of Rel-17), targeting commercialisation from 2024 onwards. As it evolves, 5G-Advanced will play an important role bridging from 5G to 6G with new features previously not standardised in 3GPP.
5G-Advanced will provide all kinds of smart connectivity, including services that focus on uplink communication and connect people moving at high velocities, such as those on trains and on planes. 5G-Advanced will also efficiently support highly immersive and interactive applications, which will be widely deployed in the entertainment, training and education sectors.
At the same time, 5G-Advanced will further strengthen support for low cost, low power-devices, such as industrial wireless sensors, smart watches and smart eyewear, together with bandwidths below 5 MHz. It will also support time-sensitive networks, timing-as-a-service, precise network-based positioning and enhance positioning based on the Global Navigation Satellite System.
In addition, 5G-Advanced will support uncrewed aerial vehicles, as well as non-terrestrial networks (such as those provided by satellites) with full seamless interworking with terrestrial networks. 5G-Advanced will also harness artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable efficient network configuration, operation and optimisation in a sustainable way.
Over time, 5G-Advanced could evolve to support integrated sensing and communication, ambient IoT, tactile and multi-modality communication services, mobile Metaverse services and networks of service robots with ambient intelligence.
In summary, 5G-Advanced will serve a wide variety of industries with different ecosystems, different needs and different regulatory environments. The GSMA is encouraging and facilitating cross-industry collaboration to fully explore the use cases for the capabilities of 5G-Advanced.