3GPP Release-17, What is cooking ?

3GPP is still giving final touches to Release-15 and started working on functionalities of Release-16. But this does not prevent 3GPP to defined new Study Items for Release-17. These preliminary study Items are listed below:

SP-180340: Feasibility Study on Audio-Visual Service Production

  • The 3GPP system already plays an important role in the distribution of audio-visual (AV) media content and services. Release 14 contains substantial enhancements to deliver TV services of various kinds, from linear TV programmes for mass audiences to custom-tailored on-demand services for mobile consumption. However, it is expected that also in the domain of AV content and service production, 3GPP systems will become an important tool for a market sector with steadily growing global revenues.

SP-180341: Study on Network Controlled Interactive Service in 5GS

  • With the expectation that 5G consumer UEs, existing or some new form devices (e.g. VR/AR devices, robot, etc.) being used for different use cases in a number of different environments, e.g. entertainment in home party or bar, or education in office, becomes interested for supporting data sharing and data exchanging between users, thus, it is necessary to investigate new use cases and requirements, like lower latency, higher throughput, higher reliability, higher resource/power efficiency etc, for such interactive services.
    3GPP has completed various studies and works to provide efficient communication for mobile broadband service and proximity service, but how to support interactive service between users, in different use cases has not been studied.

SP-180666: Study on Typical Traffic Characteristics of Media Services

  • For the optimized design of 3GPP radio and core network protocols, especially in the context of 5G, understanding typical traffic characteristics of services running on top of 3GPP networks is of utmost importance. In particular, media services (audio-visual services including TV type of services, Virtual and Augmented Reality, user generated content, etc.) are expected to dominate mobile traffic.
    In addition, with the emergence of new media services such as FLUS for live broadcast and VR/AR/MR, service requirements will vary greatly. For instance, in the former, QoS allocation cannot be reflective and more bandwidth and delay requirements are needed for the Uplink. For the latter, latency requirements are essential.
    Whereas still some traffic will be distributed through operator services, also a significant amount of traffic will result from Third-Party Services.
    Based on this and recent communication between SA4 and SA1 in S4-AHI793, it was identified that collecting and providing typical media traffic characteristics (including bandwidth and latency requirements) is of importance for SA1 and other groups in 3GPP. This includes demands based on current services, but also expectations for new services or emerging services, taking into account developments in the industry in terms of efficiency improvements. While this initial communication proved to be useful, it is preferred to maintain a central and permanent document for collecting such information.
    In addition, it should be useful identify suitable standardized Quality Indicators for such services and applications, but as the services and applications evolve, the necessity of additional Quality Indicators or other QoS parameters may be identified.

SP-180667: Study on eXtended Reality (XR) in 5G

  • Market studies indicate that Augmented Reality (AR) and Extended Reality (XR, an envelope that includes AR and Virtual Reality) are expected to grow significantly over the next few years. Many use cases and applications are expected to be wireless on mobile and portable devices (including new form factors such as AR glasses), requiring many different enablers that play together to create immersive services and experiences.
    AR is expected to share certain requirements with Virtual Reality, enabling seamless integration of different worlds. Studying the relevancy of interoperability enablers for such new services requires detailed understanding of use cases and requirements to address them It also requires understanding how emerging 5G core network and radio technologies can successfully contribute to XR services, for example to support latency and/or bitrate requirements. The relevancy of 3GPP codecs in such services is of importance.
    Also the migration from not only three degrees of freedom (3DoF, enabling movement along 3 axes), but enabling movement in 6DoF (including rotation about the axes) enables new opportunities, but also provides new challenges, such as higher data rate requirements, etc.
    3GPP initiated a study for VR360 services in the context of FS_VR and the process in this study proved useful to draw relevant conclusions on the potential needs for standardization in 3GPP in Rel-14. This study resulted in several normative work items in Rel-15, including VRStream. In the spirit of FS_VR, a new study on XR seems well justified.
    Therefore, a study is proposed to identify needs for XR (AR and VR) to which 3GPP can successfully contribute.

SP-180783: Study on Communication Services for Critical Medical Applications

  • 3GPP and ETSI specifications have already tackled a number of e-health related use cases that are mostly related to remote patient monitoring. As a matter of fact, as part of FS-CAV study item, a use case called “Telecare data traffic between home and remote monitoring centre” has been described and in ETSI TR 102.732 one can find the following use cases:
    – “Remote Patient Monitoring”
    – “Patient – Provider Secure Messaging”
    – “Measurement of Very Low Voltage Body Signals”
    – “Telecare data traffic between home and remote monitoring centre”
    They all relate to the description of communication services needed to ensure patient/healthcare equipment monitoring outside of hospitals and/or care centres.
    Additionally, although the adoption of wireless technologies has increased across most hospital functions (patient monitoring, nurse call systems, etc.) critical medical service, such as surgical operations, remote diagnosis are lagging behind. 5G system offering wireless communication services targeting radiologists or surgeons at work shall help addressing reliability, efficiency and flexibility for critical medical applications will improved operational efficiency through increased medical throughput. Therefore, it is proposed to specifically address use cases happening in this environment and define specific constraints related to e.g. the following areas:
    – Real time medical imaging in operating rooms
    – Augmented Reality Assisted Surgery
    – Robotic Aided Surgery
    – Remote Robotic Diagnosis
    – Remote Robotic Operation

SP-180784: Study on Asset Tracking Use Cases

  • As every organisation owns assets (machines, medical devices, containers, pallets, trolleys …) and since assets can be (extremely) valuable, asset tracking represents a huge market (billions of units) that so far is mostly untapped by 3GPP technology.
    These assets are often not stationary: they are transported all over the world by different kinds of vehicles; and the assets are also moved inside various kinds of buildings.
    The ownership of assets may change many times during the life-cycle of the asset as different stakeholders take possession of the assets and pass them on to other stakeholders along the supply chain and value chain.
    The value of an asset is not fixed as it typically changes all along the supply chain and value chain.
    The emergence of the sharing economy also implies that one asset can be used by different people, which further amplifies the need of asset tracking.
    So, many stakeholders want to track their assets anytime and anywhere (indoor & outdoor) in a global and multi-modal context (sea, air, road, rail…).
    Asset tracking encompasses distinct use cases such as pallets, trolley, crates, containers, parcels and security asset tracking but also luggage, vehicles and even animals (pets / farm livestock) tracking.
    The asset tracking topic implies more than just knowing the location of an asset. Asset tracking includes real time monitoring of several asset-related properties depending on the asset and its content (condition of the asset, environmental factors – temperature, mechanical shock…). An asset is pre-conditioned on a low-cost approach, for which the two main requirements are coverage (need to support full coverage: indoor / urban / rural / harsh environments / metallic obstructions…) and energy efficiency (15 years’ lifetime of an asset tracking device without changing the battery or the UE).
    The majority of current solutions are based on active RFID tags coupled with IoT sensors and GPS. These solutions are limited as they require readers to be disseminated almost everywhere. RFID tags can also turn out to be very expensive.
    Proprietary solutions are emerging, addressing for instance the container market and the associated requirements for battery efficiency, multi-hop device-to-device communication and security issues.
    Other proprietary solutions that are based on LPWAN (Low Power Wireless Access Network) type networks are rather limited (message size, coverage, scalability, duty cycle management, etc.).
    Concerning asset tracking requirements, 3GPP has already addressed asset tracking aspects through:
    • Feasibility Study on New Services and Markets Technology Enablers (TR.22.891) in the context of Release 14;
    • Communication for Automation in Vertical Domains (TR 22.804) in the context of Release 16.
    • Feasibility Study on Business Role Models for Network Slicing in the context of Release 16
    However, these requirements are covering only a few asset tracking use cases, are too generic, or need to be updated to take into account the particular characteristics of a larger variety of asset tracking use cases.
    Therefore, it’s in the interest of 3GPP to further investigate the asset tracking topic and to identify missing features and requirements for fulfilling as many asset tracking use cases as possible.

SP-180785: Study on enhanced Relays for Energy eFficiency and Extensive Coverage

  • 5G contemplates many different scenarios and verticals (inHome, SmartFarming, SmartFactories, Public Safety and others). Many of them are new while others has been already covered in earlier generations of mobile networks. What all of them has in common is that we can find use cases where better energy efficiency and more extensive coverage are needed in comparison to what earlier generations (3G, 4G) could offer.
    Nevertheless, all these use cases present an heterogenous set of performance requirements. While for IoT use cases will address small data transmissions this is not the case for inHome scenarios where high bandwidth is expected. SmartFactories use cases will need latency requirements that other use cases will not need.
    Release 16 service requirements already include the possibility of having direct 3GPP communication or indirect 3GPP communication with the use of relays. Nevertheless, this may is not enough for the needs of the possible use cases from the area listed. Incorporating multihop relays into 5G will help to improve the energy efficiency and the coverage of the 5G system.

SP-180786: Study on enhancement for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

  •   Human’s natural vision of flying makes UAVs more and more widely used in the world. The cost of UAVs is gradually reduced. The cost of the UAV is the same as the price of the mobile phone. UAVs can integrate advanced technologies in many fields, such as data mining, machine learning, image recognition, AR/VR, high definition real beat, and so on, to open up the new market blue sea.
    After market analysis, the vertical industry needs more bandwidth for upstream data traffic. And the current technology implementation have not guaranteed the flexible time delay requirements in vertical industry. Example use cases could be Electric power inspection, agricultural insurance, environmental protection, film and television drama shooting, biological field, and oil monitoring. Even for 4G technology, there is still a mismatch of technical implementation and market requirements. This study is intended to correct the deviations of these technologies.

SP-180681: Application layer support for V2X services

  • 3GPP system provides transport services to the V2X applications. To enable V2X applications on 3GPP networks, an application layer support and application architecture to support V2X applications (e.g. vehicles platooning, intersection safety) as defined in Stage 1 specifications (TS 22.185, TS 22.186), is necessary and will ensure efficient use and deployment of V2X applications on 3GPP networks.
    A detailed study has been conducted in SA6 to identify key issues, architecture requirements, functional architecture model, and corresponding solutions that are relevant to the definition of the application layer support for V2X services. The study includes the analysis of stage 1 requirements specified in TS 22.185 and TS 22.186, EPS architecture for V2X communications specified in TS 23.285 and ongoing V2X application layer standards e.g. SAE, ETSI ITS. The application layer support capabilities illustrated by the solutions can be utilized by the V2X applications to enhance the interaction with the 3GPP system(s).
    The results of the study are captured in 3GPP TR 23.795.

~Dheeraj