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July 9th 1999

3GPP sets aggressive schedule to provide market with 3G standards.

July 9th 1999: At a meeting held in Sophia Antipolis, 6-7 July 1999, the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)* accepted the recommendations of the Operators’ Harmonization Group (OHG) and agreed to produce standards for the Direct Sequence and Time Division Duplex (TDD) modes. The results form part of the ongoing work on the ITU IMT-2000 recommendations.

According to the agreement, 3GPP will cover the technical issues relating to the development of the Direct Sequence and Time Division Duplex (TDD) modes that form part of the harmonized global 3G CDMA standard. The work will also include the inter-working between the evolved ANSI-41 and GSM MAP platforms.

In order to work towards global harmonization, 3GPP has changed the chip rate of its standard from 4.09 to 3.84 and adopted a new downlink pilot structure. These two changes come in addition to the asynchronous/synchronous base station operation previously adopted. The complete 3G standards will ensure global roaming and seamless service provisioning.

The six Standards Development Organizations (SDOs) and three Market Representation Partners (MRPs) from around the globe that drive the standardization of the Direct Sequence and TDD modes have agreed to concentrate their efforts in the 3GPP. This will reduce cost and avoid duplication of work and result in single set of standards for use throughout the world. Under the 3GPP agreement each SDO agrees to publish these standards following their approval process. In Europe, these will be published by ETSI as UMTS standards.

In order to meet market requirements that have been submitted to the 3GPP by its Market Representation Partners, the 3GPP has established an aggressive schedule of annual releases for the development of the 3GPP standards. Release 1999 will be completed by 31 December 1999 and will be first deployed in early 2001 in Japan. Release 2000 will include Internet Protocol based networks and will be rolled out around the globe in 2002. Further enhancements will be included in subsequent annual releases.

The meeting schedule until the end of 1999 calls for a workshop to be held on 24-26 August in Sophia Antipolis, France to discuss the necessary modifications required for the Direct Sequence and TDD modes to operate on ANSI-41 based networks. This workshop is open to all interested parties including 3GPP2 and UWCC participants; consult www.3gpp.org for how to participate. Radio Access Network working groups will then meet on 3 and 23 September 1999 to determine the updates required to the radio interface that will be submitted for approval in October 1999.

3GPP has also established appropriate technical liaisons with 3GPP2, ITU and other bodies to collaborate in the production of global standards.

SDO and MRP members have committed required resources to 3GPP in order to reduce the time to market. Over 1000 technical experts from around the globe are engaged in this global 3GPP collaborating to produce standards and more than 300 of these will be dedicated to the elaboration of the radio interface aspects. In addition, the 3GPP benefits from a Mobile Competence Centre, funded to the amount of 7 million EUROs by the SDOs. This Competence Centre draws together 30 full-time staff augmented by experts from the SDOs that will provide logistical support to accelerate the standards process and achieve global business needs.

The UMTS Forum is a market representation partner within 3GPP, and was represented at the Sophia Antipolis meeting by Dr Bernd Eylert (UMTS Forum Chairman), Paula Tonelli (Vodafone Airtouch) and Antonella Napolitano (CSELT).

For more information about 3GPP see www.3gpp.org.

The six Standards Development Organizations are:

The Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB) was chartered by the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Japan as a public service corporation on May 15, 1995. ARIB has about 300 members including both Japanese firms and overseas firms. For details see www.arib.or.jp.
China Wireless Telecommunication Standard (CWTS) is the Standard Development Organization (SDO) responsible for wireless standardization in China as approved by the Ministry of Information Industry (MII).
ETSI unites nearly 700 members from 50 countries, representing administrations, network operators, manufacturers, service providers and users. It plays a major role in developing a wide range of standards and other technical documentation as Europe’s contribution to world-wide standardization in Telecommunications and Information Technology. For details see www.etsi.org.
CommiteeT1 develops standards and technical reports related to, among others, wireless and/or mobile services and systems, including service descriptions and wireless technologies. This committee develops and recommends positions on related subjects under consideration in other North American, regional and international standards bodies. For details see www.t1.org.
TTA is the SDO authorized by the Ministry of Information and Communication for standardization activities in Korea and represents 150 members. For details see www.tta.or.kr.
The purpose of TTC, Japan is to contribute to standardization in the field of telecommunications by establishing protocols and standards for connection between telecommunications networks, terminal equipment and a telecommunications network, etc., as well as to disseminate those standards. It has 160 members. For details see www.ttc.or.jp.

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