SAN JOSE, Calif. — 5G cellular has a problem with its signal-to-noise ratio, but it’s still expanding and even moving ahead at an accelerated pace.
The problem is some companies have started measuring their progress by the number of contributions they make to the 3GPP group defining 5G specifications. The practice has gotten so out of hand that some engineers are actually splitting a proposal into multiple papers, forcing some work groups to set a limit of one paper per company per agenda item.
“Certain companies have been trying to game the system,” said Lorenzo Casaccia, a vice president of technical standards responsible for 3GPP work at Qualcomm.
“In the last few months, two of most important work groups put a cap on the number of proposals engineers can submit because the chairs got fed up with people splitting contributions,” Casaccia said in an interview.
Qualcomm is among less than a dozen companies who file the brunt of the technical contributions to 3GPP. Casaccia’s group includes 80 people who regularly attend 3GPP meetings and hundreds who support them with lab designs and simulations.
The company measures Casaccia’s group not by its 3GPP contributions but by more ambitious goals. For example it has succeeded in its goal to accelerate deployment of 5G with a 3GPP decision announced in March to enable a hybrid LTE/5G service. It also succeeded in convincing 3GPP to enable use of LTE in unlicensed bands.
“We definitely don’t measure contributions, which are just one tool to achieve these goals,” he said, noting forging alliances as another tool.
Next page: Stepping up 5G and expanding cellular
Qualcomm considers its work driving unlicensed LTE a success. Click to enlarge. (Images Qualcomm)