Industry group 3GPP finalised standalone 5G New Radio (NR) standards, a development tipped to spark the “final sprint to commercialisation” of the technology.

A cross-industry statement signed by leading operators, vendors and standards bodies hailed the new global specification, which they said  opened-up independent deployment options for the technology that would enable the development of new business models for both mobile operators and vertical industries.

The standalone 5G NR specification will operate alongside the non-standalone version of 3GPP’s Release 15 standard unveiled in December 2017.

Companies involved in the development include China Mobile, AT&T, BT, Telecom Italia, Deutsche Telekom, China Unicom, Vodafone, Verizon, Orange, Huawei, ZTE, Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, Qualcomm and SoftBank.

3GPP RAN chairman Balazs Bertenyi said: “The freeze of standalone 5G NR radio specifications represents a major milestone in the quest of the wireless industry towards realising the holistic 5G vision. 5G NR standalone systems not only dramatically increase the mobile broadband speeds and capacity, but also open the door for new industries beyond telecommunications that are looking to revolutionise their ecosystem through 5G.”

Almost as soon as the announcement was made Ericsson, China Mobile and Intel claimed the completion of the first 3GPP-compliant multi-vendor standalone 5G NR call at Ericsson’s lab in Beijing.