The Mobile
Broadband Standard

3GPP Calendar

Release 14

Release 14, brought about a series of Mission Critical enhancements, LTE support for V2x services, eLAA, 4 band Carrier Aggregation, inter-band Carrier Aggregation and more...

rel 14 image2

The 3GPP Summary of Release 14 Work Items is now available
Functional freeze date including stable protocols was in June 2017 (...what does this mean?)

Some Background on Release 14




Release 16

Updated July 16, 2018 (Source: ETSI Work Programme report)
Release 16 is a major release for the project, not least because it will bring our IMT-2020 submission for an initial full 3GPP 5G system to its completion (see details below).
In addition to that formal process, work has started on around 25 Release 16 studies, on a variety of topics: Multimedia Priority Service, Vehicle-to-everything (V2X) application layer services, 5G satellite access, Local Area Network support in 5G, wireless and wireline convergence for 5G, terminal positioning and location, communications in vertical domains and network automation and novel radio techniques. Further items being studied include security, codecs and streaming services, Local Area Network interworking, network slicing and the IoT.
Technical Reports (the result of the study phase) are also being developed on broadening the applicability of 3GPP technology to non-terrestrial radio access (initially satellites, but airborne base stations are also to be considered) and to maritime aspects (intra-ship, ship-to-shore and ship-to-ship). Work also progresses on new PMR functionality for LTE, enhancing the railway-oriented services originally developed using GSM radio technology that is now nearing end of life.
As part of Release 16, MC services will be extended to address a wider business sector than the initial rather narrow public security and civil defence services for which they had originally been developed. If the same or similar standards can be used for commercial applications (from taxi dispatching to railway traffic management, and other vertical sector scenarios currently being investigated), this would bring enhanced reliability to those MC services through wider deployment, and reduced deployment costs due to economies of scale – to the benefit of all users. 

3GPP Release 16 will be finalised at the end of 2019.

Functionality in early GSM releases

Former project plans relating to the evolution of the GSM / EDGE radio access network can be found in 3GPP TR 50.099 - (no longer maintained)

An Overview of GSM Releases

last updated 14th January 2002

This (old) page provides a high level overview of the new functionality that was introduced into the previous GSM releases. The following releases are included:

  • GSM Phase 2+ (Release 1998)
  • GSM Phase 2+ (Release 1997)
  • GSM Phase 2+ (Release 1996)
  • GSM Phase 2
  • GSM Phase 2

These Work Items were introduced in GSM Specifications V4.X.Y Series.

  • BSS Repeaters (RPT)
  • DCS1800 4 Watt mobile power class
  • DECT access to GSM networks
  • Development of the SIM test specification (GSM Phase 2)
  • Display of Service Provider Name by the ME
  • Enhanced Full Rate Speech codec
  • Facsimile Enhancements
  • GSM - DCS Roaming
  • IMEI Check Digits (ICD)
  • Operation of Multi-band GSM/DCS by a single Operator
  • SIM - Three Volt Technology SIM
  • SMS Cell Broadcast Discontinuous Reception (CB-DRX)
  • SMS concatenation
  • Software Version Number (SVN)
  • Transparently supporting UPT phase 1

Release 96

  • 14.4 kbit/s User Data Rate
  • ASCI Phase 1 - Enhanced Multi-* Level Precedence and Pre-emption Service -* phase 1
  • ASCI Phase 1 - Voice Broadcast Service (VBS) - phase 1
  • ASCI Phase 1 - Voice Group Call Service (VGCS) - phase 1
  • Barred Dialling Numbers
  • CAMEL phase 1
  • Compression of User Data
  • Concurrent SMS/CB and data transfer in 07.05
  • Explicit Call Transfer (ECT)
  • Extensions to the SMS alphabet
  • Fast Moving Mobile - Hierarchical Cell structure, GSM 05.22
  • Handsfree MS
  • High Speed Circuit Switched Data
  • Improved Transcoder Handling (First Alternative)
  • Inclusion of deferred tracing capabilities in GSM 12.08
  • ME Personalisation
  • Network Identity and Time Zone (NITZ)
  • Packet Data on Signalling Channels
  • Radio Local Loop (RLL) using GSM
  • Second SMS broadcast channel
  • Service Dialling Numbers
  • SIM Application Toolkit
  • SIM I/F data Transfer Speed Enhancement
  • SMS - Special SMS Message indication
  • SMS Interworking Extensions
  • Support of additional call set-up MMI procedures
  • Support of Optimal Routeing (SOR)
  • Support of Restricted Digital Information and V.120 rate adaptation in GSM

Release 97

  • A-bis Management of Alarms/faults on the BTS site
  • A-bis Management of Measure on the BTS site
  • A-bis Management of reconfiguration of BTS site
  • ASCI Phase 2
  • Calling Name Presentation - US (CNAP-US)
  • CAMEL phase 2
  • Characteristics and test methods for handsfree mobile station
  • Completion of Calls to Busy Subscriber (CCBS)
  • Enhancement of MAP Extensibility Mechanisms
  • Enhancements of Fault Management Services
  • General Packet Radio Service Phase 1 (GPRS) - network part
  • General Packet Radio Service Phase 1 (GPRS) - radio part
  • Mobile Assisted Frequency Allocation (MAFA)
  • Modeling of Fault Management Services
  • Network Indication of Alerting in the MS
  • New Multiplexing Protocol on the ME-TE Interface
  • North American Equal Access
  • SIM - Security mechanisms for the SIM Application Toolkit
  • SMS enhancements phase 1
  • SMS Mobile Busy
  • Support of Private Numbering Plan (SPNP)
  • Support of Shared Interworking Function (SIWF)

Release 98

  • BTS performance requirements for very small cell scenarios (Picocells)
  • Access to auxiliary devices, integrated into the ME platform, through the use of the SIM
  • Application Toolkit
  • Access to ISPs and Intranets in GPRS Phase 2 – Separation of GPRS Bearer Establishment and ISP Service Environment Setup
  • Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR)
  • Call Deflection
  • Call Forwarding Enhancements (CFE)
  • Calling line identification enhancements (CLIe)
  • Connecting an octet stream to a port on an Internet host (R98)
  • Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) - BSS Part
  • Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) - NSS Part
  • Enhanced QoS Support in GPRS
  • Follow Me
  • Fraud Information Gathering System(FIGS)
  • General Packet Radio Service Phase 2 (GPRS) - network part1
  • General Packet Radio Service Phase 2 (GPRS) - radio part1
  • GPRS for PCS1900
  • GPRS Mobile IP Interworking
  • GSM - Cordless Telephony System (CTS)
  • GSM Mobile Number Portability (EURO) MNP
  • GSM-API for SIM-Toolkit
  • Harmonization of the PCS1900 Standards with the GSM Base Specification
  • Immediate Service Termination (IST)
  • LAPDm performance enhancement
  • Lawful Interception (LI)
  • Location Services (LCS)
  • Mobile Station Execution Environment (MExE)
  • Modem and ISDN interworking for GPRS
  • MS Antenna Test Method
  • Multiple Subscriber Profile (MSP)
  • Service Provider Number Portability (USA)
  • Support of Localized Service Area (SoLSA)
  • Tandem Free Operation of speech codecs in Mobile-to-Mobile Calls (MMCs)
  • Unstructured octet stream GPRS PDP Type (R98)
  • User-to-User Signalling (UUS)
  • USSD Enhancements
  • 1 Comprises sub-work items in the same table having "GPRS" in their title.

Release 99 and beyond

  • Access to ISPs and Intranets in GPRS Phase 2 – Wireless/Remote Access to LANs (R99)
  • Advanced Addressing
  • Architecture of the GSM-UMTS Platform
  • Architecture overview of the GSM-UMTS System
  • Automatic Establishment of Roaming Relations
  • CAMEL Phase 3
  • Charging and Billing for GPRS – Advice of Charge
  • Charging and Billing for GPRS – Hot Billing
  • Charging and Billing for GPRS – Pre-Paid
  • End to End UMTS QoS Management
  • Fraud Information Gathering System applied to GPRS
  • BSS co-ordination of Core Network Resource allocation for class A GPRS services - GSM - UMTS Core Network (R99)
  • BSS co-ordination of Radio Resource allocation for class A GPRS services -* GSM Radio Access (R99)
  • GPRS - Point-To-Multipoint Services
  • IP-in-IP tunneling in GPRS backbone for UMTS, phase 1
  • Low Voltage SIM/ME Specification
  • MExE Release 99
  • New Access Network to Core Network (BSS-NSS) interface
  • Noise Suppression for AMR speech codec
  • Provision of text telephony service in GSM and UMTS
  • Service Continuity and Provision of VHE via GSM/UMTS
  • Study on Combined GSM and Mobile IP Mobility Handling in UMTS IP CN
  • UMTS Charging & Billing
  • UMTS Core based on ATM Transport
  • UMTS Numbering, Addressing and Identities
  • UMTS Open Service Architecture
  • Virtual Home Environment

Work items whose status is to be determined

  • Calling Name Presentation - Euro (CNAP-EU)
  • Efficient cellular support of new services in GSM network service areas
  • Generic signalling mechanism for service support
  • Idle mode classmark
  • Impact of Telecommunications Data Protection Directive on GSM Standards
  • Interworking with Mobile Satellite Systems
  • Multimedia in UMTS
  • Provision of text telephony service in GSM and UMTS
  • Requirements for equipments/systems interfacing GSM
  • Service to GSM Handportables in trains
  • Study on provision of facsimile services in GSM and UMTS
  • Support of non-realtime Multimedia Messaging Service
  • Support of non-realtime Multimedia Messaging Service
  • Support of Operator Specific Services (SOOS) when roaming (to be subsumed under VHE?)
  • Technical Enhancements/improvements for phase 2

Release 1999

R99 playThe first Release of the third generation specifications was essentially a consolidation of the underlying GSM specifications and the development of the new UTRAN radio access network. The foundations were laid for future high-speed traffic transfer in both circuit switched and packet switched modes.

Details of the features and work items under each 3GPP Release are kept in the corresponding, on-line, list of features and study items.

A comprehensive review of the Release 1999 features is held in the Summary of all Release 99 Features document

Note: the Release 99 "roadmap" gives a picture of the work items shortly after the start of the Project.

  • 3G Release 99 - See version 3 of ’Technical Specifications and Technical Reports for a UTRAN-based 3GPP system’, TR 21.101.
  • GSM/EDGE, Phase 2+ Release 99 - See Versions of 3GPP TS 01.01
  • See a short video/tutorial about R99 features

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