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Key Technologies for 5G New Radio

Feature Topic


With expected 2020 initial commercialization, 5G mobile communications is gathering increased interest and momentum around the world. Following discussions on the 5G vision and key requirements (such as high data-rate, low latency, and massive connectivity), various candidate technologies have been proposed and investigated. The candidate enablers for 5G mobile communications include massive antenna technologies (from legacy cellular frequency bands up to high frequencies) to provide beamforming gain and support increased capacity, new waveform (or a new radio access technology (RAT)) to flexibly accommodate various services/applications with different requirements, new multiple access schemes to support massive connections, and so on.

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has categorized the usage scenarios for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) for 2020 and beyond into three main groups: Enhanced Mobile Broadband, Massive Machine-Type Communications, and Ultra-reliable and Low Latency communications. In addition, they have specified target requirements such as peak data rates of 20 Gb/s, user experienced data rates of 100 Mb/s, a spectrum efficiency improvement of 3X, support for up to 500 km/h mobility, 1 ms latency, a connection density of 106 devices/km2, a network energy efficiency improvement of 100X and an area traffic capacity of 10 Mb/s/m2. While all the requirements need not be met simultaneously, the design of 5G networks and radio access should provide flexibility to more efficiently support various applications meeting part of the above requirements on a use case basis.

There is also increased interest in the use of spectrum above 6 GHz for 5G mobile communications. Several researchers in academia and industry have explored the feasibility of using mmWave frequencies for 5G mobile communications, considering frequencies up to 100 GHz. This has also been supported by regulatory bodies with ITU-R  investigating the spectrum between 6 – 100 GHz for possible global harmonization and usage by 2020 and regulatory bodies such as FCC in the US and OFCOM in UK, starting a notice-of-inquiry (NOI) for using mmWave spectrum for mobile communications.

3GPP has officially started the standardization of 5G and the new 5G spec is codenamed NR (New Radio) in 3GPP discussions. The study on 5G use cases, requirements and key technology components are expected to be completed by March 2017, with the first official release of core radio spec slated for the first half of 2018.  We think it is a very timely Feature Topic if we can bring a first look of the key technologies of 5G New Radio to the IEEE Communication Magazine readers in early 2018. With this Feature Topic, our hope is that researchers worldwide can understand the state-of-art of these 5G technologies, both in terms of their design considerations and, equally importantly, their limitations, so that they can use these references to guide their research for future releases of 5G.


Original contributions are invited on the latest advancements on key component technologies of 5G New Radio, especially in the following areas of 5G NR system design:

  • NR-MIMO, especially new feedback and reference signal methods
  • NR control mechanism for reducing signaling overhead and improving battery life
  • Support of new 5G bands, including both mmWave bands and below 6GHz bands
  • Beam-centric or UE centric cellular design in support of seamless mobility and UE experience enhancement
  • New channel coding in NR: LDPC and Polar codes
  • Technologies for low latency transmission


Charlie Jianzhong Zhang
Samsung Research America, USA

Jianglei Ma
Huawei Technologies, Canada

Geoffrey Ye Li
Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Yoshihisa Kishiyama
NTT DoCoMo, Japan

Stefan Parkvall
Ericsson, Sweden
Guangyi Liu
China Mobile Research, China

Young-Han Kim
University of California, San Diego, SD, USA