3GPP’s contribution to the ITU’s IMT-Advanced process marks a key milestone in defining specifications for a new generation of ultra-high speed mobile networks. From the second half of the next decade, these systems will fully realise the global potential of mobile broadband, delivering dramatically increased data transmission speeds, greater spectral flexibility and an enriched user experience.
At the third Workshop on IMT-Advanced in Dresden last week – alongside the sixth meeting of ITU-R Working Party 5D – the 3GPP Partners* formally made their complete submission of LTE Release 10 and Beyond (LTE-Advanced).
The submission comes in response to the ITU-R Circular Letter 5/LCCE/2 which had invited proposals for candidate radio interface technologies for the terrestrial component of IMT-Advanced. The Dresden workshop now marks the start of a formal evaluation process. This is expected to last until October 2010 or later, when the ITU will confirm its final selection of approved radio access technologies.
4G IMT-Advanced features and capabilities
IMT-Advanced provides a global platform for building the next generation of mobile broadband networks. Referred to as ‘4G’, these systems will be typified by very fast data access, unified messaging and multimedia capabilities that will support an exciting new wave of interactive services.
Representing a smooth evolution from LTE, LTE-Advanced is based on OFDM radio access technology and is designed to meet or exceed requirements for IMT-Advanced within the ITU-R time plan. These requirements include theoretical DL (downlink) peak data rates of up to 1 Gbps in low mobility situations / 100 Mbps in high mobility. Other criteria satisfied by LTE-Advanced include very high spectral efficiency, wide spectrum bandwidths of up to 100MHz, worldwide roaming, interworking with other radio access systems and a low latency of less than 10 milliseconds to enable highly responsive, real-time services and applications.
Crucially, LTE-Advanced is also backwards compatible with LTE Release 8, as well as prior 3GPP standards. This gives 3GPP operators a cost-effective migration path to next-generation systems while maximising returns from their current and planned investments in 3G.
“We welcome 3GPP’s formal and detailed submission of LTE-Advanced as one of the candidates for the new generation of mobile broadband systems”, comments UMTS Forum Chairman Jean-Pierre Bienaimé.
Smooth evolution from today’s wireless investments
“LTE-Advanced will further protect the investments of the operator community that has already committed to deploy LTE based on 3GPP Release 8 and successive releases”, adds Bienaimé. “This organic evolution to next-generation systems will ensure the greatest possible continuity for operators from IMT-2000 to IMT-Advanced, while also maximising quality, choice and value for tomorrow’s mobile broadband subscribers.”
The capabilities of IMT-Advanced reflect a dramatic shift in market requirements since ITU-R defined requirements well over a decade ago for IMT-2000, the basis of today’s Third Generation (3G) networks.
Almost half a billion subscribers already enjoy voice and mobile broadband services delivered via the ‘third generation’ of mobile systems standardised by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) that spans UMTS/WCDMA, HSPA, HSPA+ and – from 2010 – 3G Long Term Evolution (LTE).
IMT-Advanced is an evolution beyond 3G towards totally new radio interface physical layer capabilities. It brings into play a greater level of radio resource management and control, advance capabilities for spectrum aggregation, and improved performance at all levels including QoS aspects.
* 3GPP Partners are: ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TTA and TTC.