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LTE-Advanced Pro

Cover Story

Mission Critical Video and Data work starts in SA6

May 30, 2016

3GPP SA6 has recently decided on a set of new Release 14 specifications for mission critical services, preparing the way for video and data functionality to be added to the architecture already developed for mission critical push to talk (MCPTT) voice services.

The SA6 meeting #11 - in India last week - made progress in building a common architecture framework for all these mission critical services. The group also reached an initial agreement on the specific functional entities needed for video applications and it is expected that this will develop further in the next meetings - after approval of the service requirements. The group additionally agreed to start normative work for the data applications specification.

SA6 completed the MCPTT functional architecture, back in December 2015, with the approval of 3GPP TS 23.179. The specification has seen further improvements within Release 13, with more functionality to be added in a new specification for MCPTT in Release 14.

The path to 5G: as much evolution as revolution

May 10, 2016

The following article considers the path to 5G - concluding that the new radio from 3GPP will initially embrace LTE as the anchor technology - prior to the industry moving to full blown 5G. 

A personal view - by Keith Mallinson - for 3GPP:

The introduction of 5G will be as much the result of relentless and extensive improvements in LTE as it is a technology revolution. While the prospect of a next generation network opens up possibilities for quite dramatic changes, such as an entirely new air interface (i.e. other than OFDMA-based) or fixed transport layer (e.g. based on Information Centric Networking (ICN) rather than IP), it also prompts development of numerous incremental improvements. Many of these are already in the pipeline for development, standardisation and deployment.

Whether one calls it 4.5G, pre5G or uses the official 3GPP term LTE-Advanced Pro; standard-compliant LTE technology that builds upon current and completed 3GPP Releases (8-14), along with the first drop of New Radio air interface features with Release 15 in 2018, will form 5G in its Phase 1 deployments commencing 2020. Compliance with ITU’s IMT-2020 requirements is not anticipated until the completion of 3GPP Release 16 at the end of 2019.

Recent News

Telecoms and the Smart City

May 24, 2016

3GPP Partner - GSA - have published a new report “The Central Role of Telecoms in The Smart City”.

The report focuses on the relationship between city authorities and the ICT industry as both address the potential of ‘big data’ and the internet of things (IoT), looking in particular at the impact that they will have on procurement processes.

“The Central Role of Telecoms in The Smart City” also studies the reasons why cities adopt a smart approach - for transportation needs, to make power savings, for water and waste services, to achieve environmental & political goals, etc. - Identifying the emergence of new technologies, including many being studied in 3GPP, that can make smart city infrastructure both desirable and affordable.
The publication of the paper is timely, as a contribution to the discussion on how 3GPP needs to meet the needs of big data, as more sectors - from intelligent transport to energy efficiency, from existing cityscapes to green field planning - will want a slice of what 5G and LTE-Advanced Pro can deliver.

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