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Friday, 28 September 2012

3GPP Standards

3GPP standards are structured as Releases. Discussion of 3GPP thus frequently refers to the functionality in one release or another.
Version[4] Released[5] Info
Phase 1 1992 GSM Features
Phase 2 1995 GSM Features, EFR Codec,
Release 96 1997 Q1 GSM Features, 14.4 kbit/s User Data Rate,
Release 97 1998 Q1 GSM Features, GPRS
Release 98 1999 Q1 GSM Features, AMR, EDGE, GPRS for PCS1900
Release 99 2000 Q1 Specified the first UMTS 3G networks, incorporating a CDMA air interface[6]
Release 4 2001 Q2 Originally called the Release 2000 - added features including an all-IP Core Network[7]
Release 5 2002 Q1 Introduced IMS and HSDPA[8]
Release 6 2004 Q4 Integrated operation with Wireless LAN networks and adds HSUPA, MBMS, enhancements to IMS such as Push to Talk over Cellular (PoC), GAN[9]
Release 7 2007 Q4 Focuses on decreasing latency, improvements to QoS and real-time applications such as VoIP.[10] This specification also focus on HSPA+ (High Speed Packet Access Evolution), SIM high-speed protocol and contactless front-end interface (Near Field Communication enabling operators to deliver contactless services like Mobile Payments), EDGE Evolution.
Release 8 2008 Q4 First LTE release. All-IP Network (SAE). New OFDMA, FDE and MIMO based radio interface, not backwards compatible with previous CDMA interfaces. Dual-Cell HSDPA.
Release 9 2009 Q4 SAES Enhancements, WiMAX and LTE/UMTS Interoperability. Dual-Cell HSDPA with MIMO, Dual-Cell HSUPA.
Release 10 2011 Q1 LTE Advanced fulfilling IMT Advanced 4G requirements. Backwards compatible with release 8 (LTE). Multi-Cell HSDPA (4 carriers).
Release 11 Planned to 2012 Q3 Advanced IP Interconnection of Services. Service layer interconnection between national operators/carriers as well as third party application providers.
Release 12 Planned to 2014 Q2 Content still open (as of January 2012).
Each release incorporates hundreds of individual standards documents, each of which may have been through many revisions. Current 3GPP standards incorporate the latest revision of the GSM standards.
The documents are available freely on 3GPP's Web site. While 3GPP standards can be bewildering to the newcomer, they are remarkably complete and detailed, and provide insight into how the cellular industry works. They cover not only the radio part ("Air Interface") and Core Network, but also billing information and speech coding down to source code level. Cryptographic aspects (authentication, confidentiality) are also specified in detail. 3GPP2 offers similar information about its system.

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