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3GPP & unlicensed spectrum

January 2015

The Chairman of 3GPP RAN, Dino Flore, presented the status of 3GPP activities related to unlicensed spectrum at the IEEE 802 meeting this month, in Atlanta.

In his presentation, Dino Flore described the progress of 3GPP RAN’s feasibility study on LTE over unlicensed spectrum (aka LAA) as well as the 3GPP activities to enhance LTE/Wi-Fi interworking.

The LAA Study Item is scheduled for completion in June 2015 (3GPP TR 36.889), paving the way for the specification work to be completed in the Release 13 timeframe (March 2016). The main goal of the Study Item is to identify the enhancements needed for LTE to operate in unlicensed spectrum and to ensure fair coexistence with Wi-Fi.

In his presentation the RAN Chairman stressed that “Licensed spectrum remains 3GPP operators’ top priority to deliver advanced services and user experience” but noted that the “opportunistic use of unlicensed spectrum is now becoming an important complement for 3GPP operators to meet the growing traffic demand.”

Bringing Plug and Play to Radio Planning Tools

January 9, 2015

A new Radio Planning Tool (RPT) interface - defined in a new series of specifications from 3GPP SA5 - is set to reduce costs in the Operations Support System (OSS), by allowing Network Management level applications to read RPT site & antenna data via a standardized method.

The focus in 3GPP Release 12 has been on accessing this data in the RPT, which is needed by several applications, including those for the centralized SON and Inventory Systems.

Olaf Pollakowski, the Rapporteur of the 3GPP Work Item, says; “Network management application developers can now integrate the RPT in a fully standardized plug-and-play fashion. This reduces integration cost significantly compared to the situation before - where proprietary interfaces had to be integrated.”

3GPP SA5 has completed the work item in eight months. Christian Toche, the group’s Chairman, said; “The completion of the work, to meet the need for reduced integration costs, in such a short time demonstrates the ability of 3GPP to respond quickly to market requirements.”

Enhanced Voice Services Codec for LTE

By Kari Järvinen, Chairman, TSG SA WG4

3GPP SA4 has completed work on the Enhanced Voice Services (EVS) Codec, in Release 12, to enable vastly improved voice quality, network capacity and advanced features for voice services over LTE and other radio access technologies standardized by 3GPP. 

EVS is the first 3GPP conversational codec offering up to 20 kHz audio bandwidth, delivering speech quality that matches other audio input such as stored music, while offering high robustness to delay jitter and packet losses.

Designed to meet the demands of packet-switched mobile communications networks, the EVS codec has been developed and standardized under the lead of the 3GPP Codec Working Group, 3GPP TSG SA WG4.

RAN4 go to Singapore

October 15, 2014

137 delegates from the 3GPP RAN4 Working Group have met in Singapore – the first 3GPP meeting in the Country in over ten years - to continue work on the specification of RF, Radio Resource Management and Demodulation requirements – treating over a thousand documents related to the 75 ongoing Release12 Work Items where RAN4 has a lead role.

MCPTT, LTE image

LTE Mission Critical Applications

TSG#65, Edinburgh, September 2014

3GPP has created a new Working Group to undertake specification work for applications in the mission critical communications space.

The 3GPP SA Plenary meeting (TSG SA#65), in Edinburgh this week, approved the creation of WG SA6, to initially focus on the Mission Critical Push to Talk (MCPTT) application in Release 13 while developing in to the generic home for all future 3GPP mission critical application work - as defined by stage 1 service requirements, on top of a common architecture.

The goal at SA#65 was to create an organizational setup that is equally attractive for all relevant stakeholders of this industry. To emphasise this, a liaison statement has been sent out by TSG SA, outlining the main tasks that have been identified for SA6 and noting the relationships between ongoing work in existing groups.

TSG SA#65 appointed Andrew Howell (U.K. Home Office) as Convenor for the new Group until formal elections are held. The December SA Plenary - TSG-SA#66 - is expected to formally approve the Terms of Reference of SA6, at which time the group will become operational.

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