The 5G Standard

3GPP eco-system, a major plus for road traffic

Oct 31, 2012
October 31, 2012, ETSI's 3rd workshop on M2M communications

In his presentation on road traffic assistance based on 3GPP cellular technology, Philippe Dobbelaere made a favourable comparison between 3G & LTE and other wireless access standards for vehicles.

Although the work on Wireless LANs in 802.11p is key to Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS), the growing reach of broadband mobile networks could be a game changer, offering mass coverage, roaming, handover capabilities and security that are already in place and ideal for road traffic assistance.

ETSI's 3rd workshop on Machine to Machine (M2M) communications heard how assistance at road intersections is a good example of such applications. One use case is where intelligent speed advice is locally delivered to allow vehicle speed to be maintained when a series of traffic lights are on green – in a ‘Green Wave’, thus minimising congestion.

Philippe Dobbelaere ‘s presentation; “Low hanging fruit in road traffic assistance based on 3GPP cellular technology and cloudified services” confirmed that LTE is well suited to support the sort of decentralised data breakout that is foreseen for ITS use.

He noted however, that UMTS - while delivering good data rates - still suffers from bottlenecks. The presentation demonstrated that this can be augmented with femtocells - that conform to Release 10 of 3GPP specifications – to create a low latency local 3G connection towards the traffic application server at the roadside.

Economies of scale

Offering driver assistance over mobile networks may well be the cheapest way to ensure that in-vehicle assistance achieves mass market growth. The original conference submission by Nieuwland, Dobbelaere, Moreels, Petti and Ress, suggests that it is necessary to break the vicious circle where investments in infrastructure are not made so long as the user numbers are low... by using existing equipment , including phones over 3GPP networks.

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Further Reading

{by André Nieuwland (Flanders’ DRIVE), Philippe Dobbelaere (Alcatel-Lucent Bell N.V.),
Stephane Petti (Mobistar), Christian Ress (Ford)}

3GPP Specifications

    • Service requirements for Home Node B (HNB) and Home eNode B (HeNB), see LIPA (TS 22.220)

    • Service Principles for PLMNs specified by 3GPP, see SIPTO (TS 22.101)

    • 3G Security; Security Architecture TS 33.102

See all of the ETSI Workshop presentations at