How Covid-19 has slowed down 5G standards development


The body responsible for developing the standards governing 5G technology has signaled that its inability to meet in person is causing a slowdown in developing new technical standards.

The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) announced on 21 September that it is expecting a delay in 5G standards of a minimum six months – and potentially longer. That in turn is likely to delay the deployment of many of the innovative use cases envisioned for the platform.

The 3GPP defines new standards for 5G radios, core network infrastructure, supporting systems and services, and 5G handsets and other end-user devices. The 3GPP’s three Technical Specification Groups are tasked with developing and agreeing on hundreds of work items required to enable new 5G capabilities.


“even though the 5G era is now underway with Release 15 and now 16, Release 17 contains a lengthy list of technical work items that are crucial for the platform to come close to matching the hype that has been attributed to it over the past few years.”

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