3GPP Releases 15, 16, and beyond

What is 5G NR?

5G is the fifth-generation cellular network technology. The industry organization for standardization 3GPP defines any radio using the 5G NR (5G New Radio) software as 5G. 5G NR follows 2G, 3G, 4G, and their respective associated technologies GSM, UMTS, LTE, and LTE Advanced.

A 5G Base Station uses New Radio (NR) technology is referred to as gNodeB (gNB). gNodeB radios feature Software Defined Radio (SDR) with various MIMO options including 2x2, 4x4, 8x8, and Massive MIMO options for higher capacities. 5G NR can support up to million devices per square kilometer while 4G LTE supports only up to 100,000 devices per square kilometer

5G NR Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

  • Minimum 10 Gb / s peak data rates for the enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB)

  • Minimum 1 Million / Km2 Connections for massive Machine Type Communications (MMTC)

  • Less than 1ms Latency for Ultra-Reliable Low-Latency Communication (URLLC)

5G NR Phases

  • NR Phase 1 - Non-Standalone Version (NSA) - LTE Core - 3GPP Release 15

  • NR Phase 2 - Standalone Version (SA) - NR Core - 3GPP Release 16

5G NR New Supported Applications

  • V2X: Vehicle to Anything (Platooning, Extended Sensors, Automated Driving, Remote Driving)

  • IIoT: Industrial IoT

  • NR-U: NR access to unlicensed spectrum

Basic Differences between 4G LTE & 5G NR

Full Name

Long Term Evolution

New Radio

3GPP Release

R 8 - R 14 (LTE, LTE-A, LTE Pro)

R 15 Onward

Frequency Range

Sub 6 GHz

Up to 6 GHz, mm Wave Bands 28 GHz, 39 GHz, Others


Voice, MBB, IoT

Voice, eMBB, IIOT, V2X

Carrier BW

Max 20 MHz

Max 100 MHz (Sub 6 GHz)
Max 1 GHz (mmWave Bands)

Number of Sub-Carriers



Sub-Carrier Spacing

15 kHz

15, 30, 60, 120, and 240 kHz


10 ~ 50 ms

~ 1 ms

Spectrum Efficiency

DL: 6 bits/Hz
UL: 4 bits/Hz

DL: 30 bits/Hz
UL: 15 bits/Hz


Digital up to 8 Layers

Analog & Digital up to 12 layers

Channel Coding

Date: Turbo Coding
Control: Convolutional Coding

Data: LDPC Coding
Control: Polar Coding

Carrier Aggregation (CA)

Up to 16

Up to 32

Spectrum Occupancy

Up to 90% of Ch BW

Up to 98% of Ch BW