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The view from the engine room

Permalink - Posted on 2020-08-06 14:35


August 6, 2020

In our final video interview, recorded just after the TSG#88e Plenaries, Lionel Morand – TSG CT Chair - discusses the importance of Release 15 and the major role that Release 16 plays in delivering the full set of features for the 5G system.

Brian Dolby: Let’s start by asking for an update on the work that you have been doing in Release 16.

Lionel Morand: For 3GPP and the 5G system, it is (Release 16) an important step. Release 15 was Phase 1 for the deployment of 5G, dedicated to the definition of the New Radio (NR) and the definition – in the core network – of a new Service Based Architecture (SBA) dedicated to the inter-connection of the new 5G radio access network.

CSAE to help drive standards

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-31 00:12


July 31, 2020

The China Society of Automotive Engineers has joined 3GPP as a Market Representation Partner (MRP). The CSAE's main aim is to promote the sustainable development of the automotive industry. Their past work has been on specifications and Group Standards for the mechanical domain. Now, they are turning their attention to the development of Intelligent Connected Vehicles and to a new role that will help bring China's automotive requirements in to the 5G standards work.

Putting 5G in perspective

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-16 12:47


July 16, 2020

In the second of our post TSG#88e video interviews, Georg Mayer discusses the scale of the task to provide specifications for 5G and how many of the most exciting use cases will evolve & grow over two or three 3GPP releases. 

He calls on new users of the 5G technologies to consider taking a role, to improve 3GPP features for the ‘verticals’. 

Sweet 16, a Release by 3GPP

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-12 12:29


July 12, 2020

In this short video interview, Balazs Bertenyi looks back at the recent TSG RAN Plenary e-meeting. He talks about the challenges – like having to coordinate discussions across 20 time zones – and about the dedication of the delegates, to get Release 16 freeze completed on time.

There is a question also about the IMT-2020 submission process, which is now drawing to a successful conclusion. Finally, Balazs mentions the prospects for Release 17, assuring us that the content is on track, even if continued remote working may lead to a short delay to its completion.

RAN6 closure, GERAN no more

Permalink - Posted on 2020-07-08 14:49


July 8, 2020

At the recent RAN (#88e) plenary meeting, Working Group 6 – responsible for the GERAN and UTRAN radio and protocol work - was formally closed.

The closure of RAN6 marks the end of a significant era for the mobile industry. The group covered work on 2G and 3G radio capabilities, carrying on from 2G's roots in the original GSM pan-European digital mobile standard.

With 3G, the potential of a global market - for the equipment, handsets and for roaming – began to be achieved, as the standards community of Europe, China, Japan, Korea and North America united in 3GPP, from 1998. This highly successful project helped propel 2G evolution into 3G, and onwards towards fulfilling its promise to become the economic and technology success story of the 21st Century.

3GPP MCC - new Director steps up

Permalink - Posted on 2020-06-03 13:37


June 2, 2020

Issam Toufik has taken up his new post of 3GPP Mobile Competence Centre (MCC) Director; replacing John Meredith, who is set to retire at the end of September - after twenty years in the MCC.

Issam has been on the staff since 2009, as Technical Officer for TSG RAN WG4 and most recently with TSG RAN WG3. On the formal announcement – made to the technical community yesterday - the Chair of the RAN3 group, Gino Masini, said: “Issam has been highly appreciated and esteemed as RAN3 Secretary. Working with him has been a pleasure and a privilege, and in RAN3 we feel proud of the role he is now taking.”

3GPP membership rises to 700

Permalink - Posted on 2020-05-29 13:23


May 29, 2020

Since the creation of 3GPP in 1998 the number of participating member companies has steadily grown, from the original 350 companies involved in GSM evolution, to a new high of 700 companies - from around the globe - working on 5G specifications.

The expansion of mobile networks beyond the needs of smartphones, to become the platform for many exciting new use cases for 5G, has led to a doubling of the number of new companies (2016 - 2019) joining 3GPP – Compared to the previous ten year period, as 4G was specified.

e-meetings provoke update to working procedures

Permalink - Posted on 2020-05-17 14:01


May 17, 2020

On May 15, the 3GPP Project Coordination Group (PCG) approved a new Annex to the 3GPP Working Procedures, to cover “Special procedures for exceptional situations restricting travel” and has agreed its immediate activation, to allow 3GPP to function in the absence of physical meetings.

The PCG has the responsibility of activating and deactivating this Annex.

The Annex documents which e-meetings can hold votes and how the vote will be conducted. More work is now envisaged, so that 3GPP TSG and working group elections can be held during the period where ‘Annex I’ is activated.

The full text of the decision is as follows:

MCx Plugtests event gets on-track

Permalink - Posted on 2020-05-14 14:29


May 12, 2020

3GPP Partner ETSI will host the 5th MCx Plugtests remote event, taking place from September 21 to October 2, 2020.

The event has evolved over the past three years, from an initial focus on Mission Critical Push To Talk (MCPTT). The test cases now also cover a variety of Mission Critical Data (MCData) and Mission Critical Video (MCVideo) features.

The 5th MCx remote Plugtests will validate the interoperability of a variety of implementations using different test scenarios based on 3GPP Mission Critical Services in Release-15 and on new features for railway communications – specifically for the FRMCS (Future Railway Mobile Communication System).

5G for Industry 4.0

Permalink - Posted on 2020-05-13 09:55


May 13, 2020

By Devaki Chandramouli, Work Item Rapporteur

5G System support for Industrial IoT (Vertical_LAN in Release-16)

In order to be able to deploy 5G for new and diverse use cases, including industry 4.0 and factory automation, the 5G system must work in harmony with the communications technologies used in such industries. For this purpose, 3GPP has now made significant progress towards the integration of the 5G system with IEEE 802.1 working group specifications covering Time Sensitive Networking (TSN).

The ‘Vertical_LAN’ work item, in 3GPP Release-16, introduces the following three new and distinct 5G enablers for Industry 4.0;

Testing C-V2X access layer for ITS devices

Permalink - Posted on 2020-05-05 16:06


May 5, 2020

In January 2020, ETSI published EN 303 613 - defining the use of C-V2X as an access layer technology for Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) in the 5 GHz frequency band. At the same time, ETSI has also updated other ITS protocols above the access layer - in ETSI TR 101 607 - to further support LTE-V2X for all Cooperative-Intelligent Transport System scenarios. 

Now, ETSI and the 5GAA are planning for their second “Cellular-Vehicle-to-Everything” (C-V2X) Plugtests* event - to test against these specifications.

Held remotely, between July 20 to 31, the event will leverage the ETSI Hub for Interoperability and Validation (HIVE) - connecting the participants’ labs for multi-party testing. The C-V2X Plugtests will focus on testing ITS security features and will allow C-V2X device vendors and Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) vendors to run test sessions and also validate their common understanding of the standards.

Progress in TSG SA (Post SA#87-e)

Permalink - Posted on 2020-04-27 13:45


April 27, 2020

During his recent webinar, TSG SA Chair, Georg Mayer described the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the 3GPP schedule. He also gave an update on the latest 3GPP releases and made a commitment to bring in further initiatives for new experts, to make 3GPP more approachable in the future.

On e-meetings replacing physical meetings, Georg Mayer observed that it is “likely that the crisis will mean that we will have to cancel more F2F meetings in Q3 and even Q4.” He noted that the resumption of the F2F meeting cycle is not just dependent on the virus being defeated; It will take time for Government and company travel restrictions to be lifted. He concluded; “As a global organization, we are dependent that people from all corners of the world can participate - and in the current situation this is very challenging”.

On a positive note, he reported that e-meetings have gone very well and that Release 16 is set to be completed at the end of June 2020. He explained the significance of the extra three months taken for the Rel-16 functional freeze, now scheduled to coincide with end of the ASN.1 and API coding phase. By doing that, the 3GPP groups can complete the release in time for a critical 5G deadline, as the due date falls for 3GPP’s submission to the ITU IMT-2020 process.

RAN work progressing beyond eMBB

Permalink - Posted on 2020-04-24 19:22


April 24, 2020

In our recent webinar on 5G radio standards, TSG RAN Chair - Balazs Bertenyi shared his thoughts about the status of Release 16 and Release 17 specifications.

Since the beginning of the year e-meetings have replaced 3GPP face-to-face group meetings. Despite the physical limitations of that way of working, he observed that the commitment of the experts is as strong as ever and that the technical work is proceeding well.

Feedback from TSG CT#87-e

Permalink - Posted on 2020-04-21 21:02


April 21, 2020

After the dust had settled on the latest TSG Plenary meetings, we held three webinars - recorded on April 9 – to get the leadership’s thoughts on what each meeting achieved.

In our first webinar, Lionel Morand takes us through the responsibilities of the Core network and terminals (CT) group, focusing on the priority given to getting Release 16 features done by June (TSG#88).

He describes TSG CT as the 3GPP factory for transforming service functional requirements into network enablers, via the group’s protocol specifications. 

During the webinar, Lionel Morand discusses user plane and control plane evolution, emphasising the new work done on the control plane; with the service based architecture replacing node management with services that can be discovered by any function at the control level. This allows very flexible deployments and the introduction of new functionality via a virtualized and cloud friendly network.

The webinar concluded with a look at the role of CT in completing Release 16, with over 50 CT level work items to finish by the end of TSG CT#88-e meeting, starting on June 29. 

Changing 3GPP to help the verticals

Permalink - Posted on 2020-02-25 00:09


February 25, 2020

Our latest video, recorded at TSG#86 in Sitges, December 2019, brings together:

  • Joachim Walewski, Siemens
  • Roland Beutler, EBU
  • Nicolas Chuberre, Thales Alenia Space
  • Georg Mayer, 3GPP SA Chair.

They discuss the reasons why their sector is in 3GPP and how they feel it is going. There are some frank views on the difficulties encountered and the frustrations that still persist, but there are also some clues on how new verticals don't have to start from scratch and how the project is making attempts to learn from the experience of adapting to the needs of the verticals.

Farewell to a friend

Permalink - Posted on 2020-02-20 21:57


February 20, 2020 (updated Feb. 25)

Ian Doig passed away on Wednesday 19th February, after a short illness.

He will be missed. When he retired at the end of 2019, everyone who visits the ETSI offices might still have expected to occasionally hear his laugh on the forecourt and to be able to pass the time of day with him. Now, we won’t have that.

Ian’s dedication to the work was legendary. From the days as the ETSI link man to Project Team 12 experts and the ETSI Technical Officer supporting TC SMG, to his career as a 3GPP and ETSI delegate on behalf of Motorola and then Blackberry – Ian was on top of things, always leading from the back row of the meeting room, his favoured seat.

3GPP work taken on-line for Q1

Permalink - Posted on 2020-02-11 15:54


February 11, 2020

In the light of the current Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, 3GPP has reluctantly decided to cancel all face to face TSG and WG meetings in Q1 2020.

Where practical, the meetings are being replaced with electronic meetings, the details of which are posted on the 3GPP meeting calendar - on this web site - and on the 3GPP portal; https://portal.3gpp.org 

Meetings in Q2, originally scheduled to be held in China, are now being relocated to other locations - as a precautionary measure. As the situation develops and as we hopefully start to get better news on the end of the coronavirus outbreak, we will publish updates to this page.

Meanwhile, 3GPP would like to express our collective best wishes to everyone affected by this virus and the illness related to it. Our thoughts are with you at this time.


Not going to Barcelona

Permalink - Posted on 2020-02-11 09:58


Story update February 13, 2020

Yesterday, MWC 2020 yielded to the increasing concerns over the coronavirus and the impact that going ahead with the event could have. In a statement the Association said: "GSMA has cancelled MWC Barcelona 2020 because the global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible for the GSMA to hold the event."

More news and details are on-line at https://www.mwcbarcelona.com/attend/safety-security/gsma-statement-on-mwc-2020/

CT progress on Rel-16 Stage 3

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-14 22:48


January 15, 2020

In our latest video – filmed at the last Plenary meetings in Spain, December 12, 2019 - Lionel Morand speaks to Guy Daniels about the current priorities for TSG CT.

The interview covers the status of Release 16, with an explanation of what Stage 3 CT work is all about. It ends with a call to action for new experts – from vertical industries - to contribute further towards getting the protocol work for 5G features done.

Vacency - 3GPP Director of MCC

Permalink - Posted on 2020-01-13 08:37


January 13, 2020

ETSI has today started the process of recruiting a Director of the Mobile Competence Centre (MCC), responsible for the management of the 18 strong team, reporting to the ETSI CTO.

The post also includes the duties of 3GPP Specifications Manager.

For full details about the position - created due to John Meredith approaching his retirement bash later in the year - and a copy of the job description, please see the MCC Vacancies page of the site.