Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) approves Release 99
specifications in race towards global standard for the new millennium
Nice, France, 17 December 1999 - Standards bodies from China,
Europe, Japan, Korea and the United States today agreed upon a set of
specifications for 3rd Generation Mobile communications.
At the invitation of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute,
ETSI, over 400 of the worlds leading mobile communications experts
gathered in Nice, France, at a meeting of the 3rd Generation Partnership
Project (3GPP) to approve Release 99, the comprehensive set of 300
specifications which will enable the launch of third generation (3G)
The 3GPP specifications will allow consumers to roam throughout the globe
and benefit from access to the Internet and other multimedia services
at speeds of up to 2 Mbits/sec, in addition to the voice services that
present-day mobile users are already familiar with.
For industry, the 3GPP Release 99 provides the stability for the first
roll out of 3G services expected to be available in the market as early
as 2001, with progressive launches in the various regions of the world
that are represented within 3GPP.
The 3GPP is a global standardization initiative created in December 1998
to develop specifications for the International Telecommunication Unions
family of standards known as IMT-2000. The new 3GPP specifications
are evolved mainly from the popular GSM standard which is currently
used by 250 million subscribers in more than 140 countries. The 3GPP
specifications includes a new radio access technology known as UTRA
which will provide various radio modes (Frequency Division Duplex, FDD,
and Time Division Duplex, TDD).
According to ETSI Director-General Karl Heinz Rosenbrock, who is also
President of the 3GPP Project Co-ordination Group, 3GPP meetings
have taken place in many parts of the world, emphasizing the strong
commitment of Standards Development Organisations (SDOs) from China,
Europe, Japan, Korea and the United States. It is through this commitment
we have been able to meet the very aggressive targets for 3G. In just one
year, we have been able to specify the 3G system, a truly unprecedented
achievement in the world of standardization, and one that the industry
will continue to envy for years to come.
Release 99 specifies more than 50 services, both the FDD and TDD
radio modes of UTRA, speech codecs, Operation and Maintenance, test
specifications, and much more. The specifications that comprise Release
99 will now be transposed into formal standards by the participating
SDOs from China, Europe, Japan, Korea and the United States.
Global specification work will continue as 3GPP develops Release 2000
providing further enhancements and features such as an all-IP based
network, further refinements of radio access modes, seamless service
Mr Michael Stocks, Chairman of the GSM Association, confirmed the
satisfaction of the operator community. The GSM Association is really
happy with the progress in 3GPP and the fact that the timescales and
Release content are essentially in line with the original plans, he
remarked. The Association has emphasized its role in 3G by establishing
an IMT-2000 Steering Group in which operators of 2nd Generation and
enhanced 2nd Generation systems, together with prospective 3rd Generation
operators, are able to formulate contributions to standards-making
activities as well as to work on operational and business issued that
fall outside standardization. We are convinced of the success of 3GPP
and will continue to contribute actively to the excellent work of this
project, said Mr Stocks.
Dr Bernd Eylert, Chairman of the UMTS Forum, commented: The timely
completion of work on Release 99 represents a major milestone in the
evolution of technical specifications to support the successful market
launch of IMT-2000 services globally. Within the UMTS Forum we now look
forward to assisting 3GPP as it continues its work on Release 2000,
with an increased emphasis on applications, network management, billing
and service provisioning. A perspective from the marketplace on these
other components of the IMT-2000 proposition is vital in enabling the
creation of next-generation mobile multimedia applications that will
meet end user needs.
Mr Olle Åberg, a Vice-President of GSA - the Global Mobile Suppliers
Association, confirmed the importance of these achievements. Release
99 is a vital step towards the successful development and deployment
of 3rd Generation mobile communications, he said. GSA is pleased
to be part of the 3GPP process which is proving so very effective in
achieving a consensus view of the global market requirements for the
3rd Generation. The forward-looking, open approach adopted by the 3GPP
is an excellent model for bringing together the diverse requirements of
different parts of the industry, which are committed to establishing a
mass market for highly personalised and user-friendly mobile access to
tomorrows Information Society, he added.
NOTE TO EDITORS
The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) The 3GPP organization
was established for the preparation and maintenance of a complete set
of globally applicable technical specifications for a Third Generation
mobile system based on the evolved GSM core networks and the radio access
technologies supported by 3GPP partners.
3GPP membership consists of 3 categories - Organizational Partners,
Market Representation Partners and Individual Members.
The current Organizational Partners (which by definition are recognized
Standards Development Organizations) are:
Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB), Japan.
China Wireless Telecommunication Standard (CWTS).
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).
Committee T1, USA. www.t1.org
The Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA), Korea.
The Telecommunication Technology Committee (TTC), Japan.
The current Market Representation Partners of 3GPP are:
The GSM Association.
The Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA).
The UMTS Forum. www.umts-forum.org
The Universal Wireless Communications Consortium (UWCC).
3GPP web site: www.3GPP.org
For further details contact: