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e-meetings provoke update to working procedures

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:


5G for Industry 4.0

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;


MCx Plugtests event gets on-track

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).


Testing C-V2X access layer for ITS devices

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)

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.


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