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3GPP MCC - new Director steps up

June 2, 2020

Issam Toufik has taken up his new post of 3GPP Mobile Competence Centre (MCC) Director; replacing John Meredith, who is set to retire at the end of September - after twenty years in the MCC.

Issam has been on the staff since 2009, as Technical Officer for TSG RAN WG4 and most recently with TSG RAN WG3. On the formal announcement – made to the technical community yesterday - the Chair of the RAN3 group, Gino Masini, said: “Issam has been highly appreciated and esteemed as RAN3 Secretary. Working with him has been a pleasure and a privilege, and in RAN3 we feel proud of the role he is now taking.”

3GPP membership rises to 700

May 29, 2020

Since the creation of 3GPP in 1998 the number of participating member companies has steadily grown, from the original 350 companies involved in GSM evolution, to a new high of 700 companies - from around the globe - working on 5G specifications.

The expansion of mobile networks beyond the needs of smartphones, to become the platform for many exciting new use cases for 5G, has led to a doubling of the number of new companies (2016 - 2019) joining 3GPP – Compared to the previous ten year period, as 4G was specified.

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;

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:


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).


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