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Keywords & Acronyms

We have written articles to explain some 3GPP related keywords and acronyms, to give some background material on the topic.

Terms include:  

3GPP Series & technologies

The first two digits of a 3GPP TS or TR number define the spec series; for example LTE radio (E-UTRAN) is defined in the 36 Series.

On this page you can find which technology is [at least partially] aligned with which 3GPP series.

A-Z list of technical terms

The 3GPP Report ‘Vocabulary for 3GPP Specifications’ identifies specialist technical terms used;

  • To ensure that editors use terminology that is consistent across specifications.
  • To provide a reader with convenient reference for technical terms that are used across multiple documents.

Furthermore, you can check which Spec(s) a term or abbreviation is defined in using ETSI’s TEDDI application. Note that this only shows terms defined in 3GPP TSs and TRs which have already been transposed as ETSI publications.




From LTE for UMTS: Evolution to LTE-Advanced, Second Edition. Edited by Harri Holma and Antti Toskala.

© 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

When the evolution of the radio interface started (E-UTRAN), it soon became clear that the system architecture would also need to be evolved. The general drive towards optimizing the system only for packet switched services is one reason that alone would have set the need for evolution, but some of the radio interface design goals – such as removal of soft handover – opened up new opportunities in the architecture design. Also, since it had been shown by High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) that all radio functionality can be efficiently co-located in the NodeB, the door was left open for discussions of flatter overall architecture.

Discussions for System Architecture Evolution (SAE) then soon followed the radio interface development, and it was agreed to schedule the completion of the work in Release 8. There had been several reasons for starting this work, and there were also many targets.

eCall specifications set to save lives

eCall specifications set to save lives

In-Vehicle Systems

25th March, 2009

Two new specifications will allow all vehicles in Europe to make a 112 emergency call with relevant data about an accident or major incident.

The work was completed in the 3GPP Technical Specification Group SA at their SA #43 meeting (9-12 March, 2009), before being presented to ETSI MSG for formal approval by the European standards organization.

The documents specify the eCall in-band modem for the reliable transmission of MSD from an In-Vehicle System (IVS) to the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) via the voice channel of cellular and PSTN networks.

Carrier Aggregation explained

Author: Jeanette Wannstrom, for 3GPP, (Submission, June 2013)

Carrier aggregation is used in LTE-Advanced in order to increase the bandwidth, and thereby increase the bitrate. Since it is important to keep backward compatibility with R8 and R9 UEs the aggregation is based on R8/R9 carriers. Carrier aggregation can be used for both FDD and TDD, see figure 1 for an example where FDD is used.


IP-Multimedia Subsystem

IMS is one of 3GPP’s greatest success stories.

Originally designed to evolve UMTS networks to deliver Internet Protocol multimedia to mobile users, IMS has become the core component within 3G, cable TV and next generation fixed telecoms networks.

IMS specification began in 3GPP Release 5 as part of the core network evolution from circuit-switching to packet-switching and was refined by subsequent Releases 6 and 7.