The 5G Standard

A fond farewell

Aug 23, 2017

August 23, 2017

By John Meredith, 3GPP Mobile Competence Centre Director

It is my task to bring some sad news to the ETSI and 3GPP community. François Courau, who was the TSG RAN Chairman for a record eight years between 2001 and 2009, passed away last week.

In addition to being a prominent leader in 3GPP, François was an active figure in ETSI Technical Committee SMG and also in the earlier work within the CEPT - as a part of the Groupe Spécial Mobile.

As a member of the GSM "Permanent Nucleus" of full-time experts, he used his formidable skills to help maintain the impetus of GSM development, following the work as it was transferred to ETSI, in 1989.

He went on to hold a number of leadership positions in ETSI SMG and ETSI MSG as well as holding the Chairmanship of 3GPP RAN. In all, François gave more than a quarter of a century to standards and played a significant role in defining GSM, UMTS and LTE systems.

Many 3GPP delegates have been expressing sadness at François' passing, which certainly marks the end of an era. RAN working groups, meeting this week, have observed a minute's silence in his memory. We have received a message from François’ family, thanking the community for the gestures of kindness. ETSI and 3GPP will be represented at his funeral and will provide floral tributes.

We all echo what our RAN Secretary said this week “François was a great and open character, he was the longest serving RAN chairman and those who had the pleasure to meet him will always remember him.”

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Contact for this article: Kevin FLYNN, Marketing and Communications Officer.