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SIM card format for slimmer, smaller phones

ETSI has standardized a new form factor (4FF) for the SIM card, 40% smaller than the current smallest design.

The SIM is the most successful smart card application ever. A SIM card is used to securely associate a mobile device with a customer account, preventing fraud and ensuring that calls are correctly routed to customers. It is an essential security feature of mobile networks, and is integrated into every GSM, UMTS and LTE device. Over 25 billion SIM card and derivatives have been produced so far, and the industry continues to issue over 4.5 billion SIM cards each year.

RCS and VoLTE Interoperability

Testing Event 1st - 12th October, 2012

3GPP Partners - ETSI and the GSMA - have joined forces with the MultiService Forum (MSF) to host a major Rich Communication Suite (RCS) and VoLTE Interoperability Event, co-hosted by operators in Europe and China.

These tests will validate core network interfaces for multi-vendor VoLTE and RCS equipment, using GSMA permanent reference documents (PRDs) and MultiService Forum/ETSI Testing Scenarios for the deployment of LTE technologies.

Small Cell Forum - new name for 3GPP Partner

The Femto Forum has recently changed its name to the Small Cell Forum in order to better reflect its work in residential, enterprise, metro and rural small cells - developing common approaches to standards and encouraging best practices.

The Forums' recent press release states that "The Forum will address all small cells that operate in licensed spectrum, are operator-managed and feature edge-based intelligence – including what have been dubbed femtocells, picocells, microcells and metrocells. It will also support the crossover between small cells and other relevant technologies including: Wi-Fi, cloud RAN (which connects cellular radio to cloud-based intelligence over fibre), Distributed Antenna Systems, as well as macrocells as part of the new heterogeneous network (hetnet) environment..."

North America leading in LTE with 71% of subscriptions

According to the 4G Americas industry body, LTE and HSPA accesses have put North America at the forefront of the mobile revolution, and are set to keep it there.

In a press release on the 14th march 2012, 4G Americas reported that HSPA mobile broadband technologies in North America passed 100 million connections last year (Source; Informa) and that 2 million LTE subscriptions were added in the last quarter of 2011 alone.

“The Americas region truly is a success story for many reasons,” stated Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. “Before the end of this year, more than one billion total subscriptions will be achieved for wireless technologies and the 3GPP family of technologies will comprise 78 percent of the market… the U.S. has become the global leader for advanced technologies and Latin America is quickly adopting these technologies as well.”

Dual-Carrier HSPA delivering 42 Mbps in 62 networks

The success of HSPA systems continues and there is growing momentum towards the evolved version of the technology - HSPA+, which was largely specified in 3GPP Release 7.

A recent report from the GSA highlights the contribution of dual carrier or dual cell technology (DC-HSPA+) towards delivering 42 Mbps, using 64QAM modulation and using dual adjacent carriers.

GSA have reported that there are now 245 HSPA+ devices available, compared to 92 just a year ago.

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