3GPP has announced a timeline for Release 17, following the recent plenary meeting of its Technical Specification Groups (TSG).

According to the organisation, the schedule will see the R17 stage two ‘functional freeze’ taking place in June of next year. The stage three protocol freeze will be in March of 2022, with the protocol coding freeze following three months later in June.

The timeline is based on the assumption that 3GPP will be able to conduct physical meetings in the second half of 2021.

Speaking of the plan, a spokesperson for the organisation said: “With remote working now confirmed as the norm until June 2021, the [organisation] took the view that delegates need more time to be able to comfortably and accurately consolidate the results of their work. This guidance takes into account the fact that in the busiest groups, the stream of contributions can peak at over 1,000 emails a day.

“Only the timeline for the work has changed. The content of Release 17 remains as approved during the December 2019 TSG#86 meetings."

The possible resumption of physical gatherings will be evaluated at the TSG#91-e meetings, taking place in March of next year.

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Author: Philip Mason