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3GPP Approves LTE-Advanced Pro as New Marker for LTE Evolution System (4.5G)

Oct 26, 2015

[Shenzhen, China, October 26, 2015]3GPP standards has approved a new marker for LTE evolution system (4.5G) namely LTE-Advanced Pro in the PCG#35 meeting on October 22nd, 2015. This now becomes the formal name of 4.5G in standard. The new marker represents a significant step forward in the LTE Evolution compared to the previous marker, namely LTE-Advanced.

LTE-Advanced has triggered rapid developments of the wireless communications industry in the past 3 years. By September 2015, there were at least 95 LTE-Advanced commercial networks deployed around the world with at least one third of LTE devices capable of supporting LTE-Advanced. In correlation with the booming mobile communications industry, the cost per Megabit rate of Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) has gradually reduced while greatly improving user experience. However, due to the emergence of 2K/4K video and Virtual Reality services, the demand for operators to further enhance network capacity and user experience has also dramatically increased. Additionally, new vertical industry services like cellular IoT, Vehicle-to-Vehicle communication and Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) have put tremendous pressure on current networks to meet these new requirements.

A common view in the mobile communications industry has emerged that further evolution of the current LTE system is needed before the full deployment of 5G in order to maximize the value of existing LTE networks and expand more business opportunities. In 2013, Huawei proposed concept of 4.5G to further evolve the LTE system. In October 2014, Huawei announced the targets for 4.5G and expected time frame for its key technologies, which raised strong interests and recognition within the industry. Huawei advocated that 4.5G begin from 3GPP Release 13, and predicted that commercial deployment of 4.5G will start from 2016. To promote 4.5G in the industry, Huawei has actively carried out business cooperation with partners, to verify the feasibility of technical features and performance gains, and to explore business opportunities in vertical industries with application providers.

In the PCG#31 meeting in October 2013, 3GPP decided to start debating a new marker for further evolution of LTE (4.5G). Then on April 28th, 2015 at the PCG#34 meeting, 3GPP finally agreed to introduce a new marker for 4.5G as a significant step forward above LTE-Advanced. After a six-month discussion at the PCG#35 meeting on October 22nd, 2015, the new marker has officially been named as LTE-Advanced Pro. LTE-Advanced Pro will start from the ongoing Release 13 and will continue into future Releases. It includes the main features such as Licensed Assisted Access (LAA), 3D/FD-MIMO (Full Dimension), Narrow Band IoT (NB-IoT), Vehicle to Everything (V2X), Massive Carrier aggregation, Enhanced Machine Type Communication (eMTC), Latency reduction, Downlink Multiuser Superposition Transmission and Single Cell-Point to Multi-point (SC-PTM), etc.

LTE-Advanced Pro will further improve network data rate, improve user experience, and expand vertical applications. It will significantly promote the LTE network, and help build better world-wide connections.