Roger Nichols

3GPP’s 5G New Radio Specs at mmWave: You can make it work! But how will you know if it does?

The 3GPP has completed the first part of Release 15—the first deployable 5G standard. This is for the implementation of a commercial non-standalone (NSA) 5G network.  “Non-standalone” means a 5G radio access network (RAN) which relies upon the legacy LTE network for an “anchor” and control. The specification is designed for 5G networks at Frequency Range 1 (FR1) (<6GHz) and Frequency Range 2 (FR2) (>6GHz).  This FR2 territory is new for commercial wireless communications and while plenty of research and development have brought mainstream commercial deployment at these frequencies closer to a reality, the commercial practicalities are daunting.  And “release of NSA specs” should not be interpreted as “complete NSA specs”.  As of early March, 3GPP RAN4 was still engaged in discussions (and not yet decisions) about over-the-air test methods and their dramatic impact on measurement uncertainty for such mundane measurements as spurious emissions, spectral emissions (SEM), and error-vector magnitude (EVM); and much work is still to be done for receiver measurements. This talk will cover the status of the 3GPP NR spec, some of its impacts on hardware and system design, and what to expect in terms of measurement method and measurement uncertainty over the coming months.

Roger Nichols has been directing Keysight’s 5G Programs for over four years. His 33 years of engineering and management experience in wireless test and measurement at Hewlett-Packard, Agilent Technologies, and Keysight spans roles in manufacturing, R&D, and marketing. He has worked in programs starting with analog cellular radio evolving to 5G and on every standard in between. He spent seven years as the Senior Marketing Director for Keysight’s (Agilent’s) Mobile Broadband Division responsible for the wireless test-sets and systems used in all major design and certification labs as well as manufacturing facilities worldwide.

Rogers holds a BSEE from the University of Colorado, Boulder.