Jose F. Monserrat (Universitat Politècnica de València)
Last week, on June the 21st 2017, ITU-R WP5D Niagara Falls meeting concluded with little advances, but at least a clear definition of the agenda to standardize IMT-2020 Radio Interface Technologies, the 5G. Even being the radio community eager to say that 5G is just around the corner, the 5G label will be provided by ITU-R by October 2020, likely more than two years after the first “5G” networks will be deployed.
The full process includes the following milestones:
- March 2016: the invitation to propose Radio Interface Technologies (RITs) was released.
- July 2019: deadline for the reception of candidate proposals.
- February 2020: all evaluation reports from external evaluation groups must be received.
- June 2020: ITU-R will provide the key characteristics of 5G technologies.
- October 2020: ITU-R will finish the RIT specification recommendations.
In the meantime, what is also under way is the technological evaluation of the candidate technologies. As in previous generations, candidate radio access technologies will be proposed and a set of institutions and research centers will carry out a comprehensive evaluation to see if the candidates are able or not to meet the requirements set by the ITU-R for this mobile generation. For the 5G, the requirements are still under discussion, although good hints are available already in draft form . The steps in the whole procedure are described in the figure below.
Figure 1. Detailed procedure of the IMT-2020 evaluation .
With respect to the simulation of the 5G candidates, ITU-R is currently working in a document, the ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.EVAL] report, to be released by November this year, in which all details for simulations will be included. Evaluations will be performed in strict compliance with the technical parameters provided by the proponents and the evaluation configurations specified for the test environments in this IMT-2020.EVAL report. What we already know (there is a draft version since June 2017) is the set of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) to be evaluated and some details on the test environments and network layout for simulations. As one of the most interesting novelties, there will be two new environments, as compared with the IMT-Advanced process, in an urban macrocellular deployment:
- Urban Macro–mMTC: an urban macro environment targeting continuous coverage focusing on a high number of connected machine type devices.
- Urban Macro–URLLC: an urban macro environment targeting ultra reliable and low latency communications.
The second one is likely to focus on Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) communications, since this seems to be the most significant service that will define the 5G . The characteristics of the propagation models that will be used for the modeling of this V2V communication and how the shadowing effects in this type of communication will be taken into account are still to be seen. The right modelling of these two aspects is fundamental to have an accurate assessment on the performance of the RIT candidates , so it is requiring long discussions within the WP 5D.
The following principles are to be followed when evaluating RIT for IMT‑2020:
- Evaluations of proposals can be through simulation, analytical and inspection procedures.
- Evaluations through simulations contain both system-level and link-level simulations. Independent evaluation groups may use their own simulation tools for the evaluation.
- In case of evaluation through analysis, the evaluation is to be based on calculations which use the technical information provided by the proponent.
- In case of evaluation through inspection the evaluation is to be based on statements in the proposal.
The IMT-2020 submission and evaluation process is is guided by Resolution ITU-R 65. At this point in time, interested groups can still apply to become external evaluators of the RIT IMT-2020 candidates. So far the following groups have been accepted:
- 5G Infrastructure Association
- ATIS WTSC IMT-2020 Evaluation Group
- ChEG Chinese Evaluation Group
- Canadian Evaluation Group
- Wireless World Research Forum
- Telecom Centres of Excellence, India
- The Fifth Generation Mobile Communications Promotion Forum, Japan
- TTA 5G Technology Evaluation Special Project Group
Now the main question is whether there will be more than one candidate technology or not…
 ITU-R SG05 Contribution 40, “Draft new Report ITU-R M.[IMT-2020.TECH PERF REQ] – Minimum requirements related to technical performance for IMT-2020 radio interface(s)”, February 2017.
 ITU-R IMT.2020 Contribution 2, “Submission, evaluation process and consensus building for IMT-2020”, June 2016.
 Calabuig, Jordi; Monserrat, Jose F; Gozalvez, David; Klemp, Oliver; “Safety on the roads: LTE alternatives for sending ITS messages”, IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 61-70, 2014.
 Monserrat, JF; Fraile, R; Rubio, L; “Application of alternating projection method to ensure feasibility of shadowing cross-correlation models”, Electronics Letters, vol. 43, no. 13, 2007.
 Monserrat, J; Fraile, R; Cardona, N; Gozalvez, J; “Effect of shadowing correlation modeling on the system level performance of adaptive radio resource management techniques”, Wireless Communication Systems, 2005. 2nd International Symposium on, 2005.
 IMT-2020 submission and evaluation process webpage. https://www.itu.int/en/ITU-R/study-groups/rsg5/rwp5d/imt-2020/Pages/submission-eval.aspx