3GPP delays 5G standards due to COVID-19

Not surprisingly, the coronavirus is having an impact on the timing of 5G standards, with the finalization of some 5G standards officially delayed by three months.

3GPP said the Release 16 Stage 3 freeze is now due in June 2020. The adjustment was made after all face-to-face Working Group (WG) and Technical Specifications Group (TSG) meetings were canceled.


A representative for 3GPP said meetings last week made progress, but they still needed to reschedule the work. Release 16 ASN.1 and Open API specification freeze will be completed in June 2020, as planned, according to the 3GPP.

RELATED: 3GPP decides to delay Release 16 by 3 months

It wasn’t immediately clear how the delay will impact commercial rollouts of future 5G technology. Supply chain issues have been affecting companies’ ability to deliver product, to varying degrees, since the coronavirus outbreak started.

Last month, the GSMA canceled the industry’s biggest trade show, Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. The association announced today a “goodwill financial package” that deems the purchase price for all attendee tickets will be returned 100%. “As a further gesture of goodwill to support our clients, MWC2021 rates will roll-back to those used in 2019,” the GSMA said.

The GSMA said it stands behind the decision to cancel MWC Barcelona 2020. “It was the only option at the time, as has been made clear by subsequent events,” the organization said. “It is a recognition that, without attendees, exhibitors and sponsors, there wouldn’t be MWC Barcelona. The GSMA thanks its colleagues in the industry for their continued support. The approach seeks to ensure a long-term relationship with the whole MWC ecosystem for the years to come and has been created to give everyone the best possible opportunity to return for MWC Barcelona 2021.”

Ericsson was the first big vendor to announce it wasn’t going to participate in MWC over health concerns related to the coronavirus.