The Mobile Broadband Standard
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3GPP system standards heading into the 5G era

An article for the Eurescom message, by Balazs Bertenyi, 3GPP TSG SA Chairman

3GPP standards have played a pivotal role in the success of LTE, making it the fastest growing cellular technology in history. Never before has a new radio technology made it to the market so quickly and widely after the finalization of the first version of the standards (3GPP Release 8 was finalized in December 2008).

For the first time in history LTE has brought the entire mobile industry to a single technology footprint resulting in unprecedented economies of scale. After the initial LTE Release, work in 3GPP has been centered on the following strategic areas:

  1. Enhancing LTE radio standards to further improve capacity and performance;
  2. Enhancing system standards to make LTE and EPC available to new business segments;
  3. Introducing improvements for system robustness, especially for handing exponential smart phone traffic growth.

This article focuses on the latter two aspects, and outlines the potential standards path towards the 5G era.

Latest News

LTE in unlicensed spectrum

June 19, 2014 - Sophia Antipolis, France

A workshop to share ideas on LTE in unlicensed spectrum has been described as a “fruitful contribution to the start of work in the project” as it is considered by cellular operators as an important complement to meet future traffic demands.

In his summing up Dino Flore, Workshop & 3GPP TSG-RAN Chairman, looked at the main deployment options and requirements emerging from the discussion, calling for interested companies to work offline on a 3GPP Study Item proposal that will define the scope of the technical work, which will be discussed in the regular 3GPP approval process from the next meeting in September 2014.

300 LTE Networks Worldwide

4G Americas has studied the introduction of LTE systems and issued new figures for it's growth and for the launch of as many as 40 LTE-Advanced Networks based on Release 12 features by the end of the year.

The following press release was issued by 4G Americas, June 16, 2014:

LTE is now commercial on 300 networks in 107 countries, adding 109 new commercial networks year-over-year since June 2013, with 350 commercial LTE networks anticipated by the end of 2014, as reported today by 4G Americas, a wireless trade association representing the 3GPP family of technologies, including LTE and LTE-Advanced. Additionally, LTE-Advanced is now commercially deployed on 9 networks in 7 countries worldwide, with those numbers expected to reach 40 networks by year-end 2014.

LTE and the Internet of Things

In her article for a recent FireceWireless eBrief, Kimberly Tassin, takes a look at the new opportunities being created by LTE and how the technology is being built in to chipsets and modules for various sectors...

Article by Kimberly Tassin, Sequans Communications

Although the point in time at which LTE becomes the dominant connectivity technology in the Internet of Things is debatable, it is clear that’s where the world is headed and the time is approaching quickly. The explosive growth of the IoT — now projected to reach multiple billions of devices in the next few years — and the unprecedented high adoption rate of LTE have given rise to a tidal wave of new business opportunities not only for mobile operators, but also for device makers now highly incentivized to connect their devices to the Internet via LTE.

Beyond traditional makers of smartphones, tablets, and routers, the LTE-enabled IoT offers a myriad of new business opportunities to nontraditional device makers based on connecting devices to the Internet that have never been connected before— devices that create tremendous new efficiency for home and business, transportation, energy, agriculture, healthcare, security, retail, advertising, and more.

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