The Mobile Broadband Standard
Cover Story

All roads lead to IoT, from GERAN to RAN

January 25, 2016

2016 will see the largest single adjustment to the 3GPP Technical Specifications Group structure since the creation of the project, with the closure of the GSM/EDGE RAN (GERAN) committee and the expansion of the RAN TSG structure to accommodate its current workload and the maintenance of specifications.

Although this can be seen as the closure of the legacy group, there is considerable interest in the reorganization, as the work started in GERAN on Extended Coverage EGPRS joins the other two M2M projects - LTE enhancements for MTC (LTE-MTC) and Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) within 3GPP RAN.

SC-PTM, an agile broadcast/multicast mechanism

January 28, 2016

By Jeff Gao, Rapporteur for 3GPP Support of single-cell point-to-multipoint transmission in LTE.

Broadcast/Multicast services have been earmarked as a potential area of growth in the future. Single Cell Point To Multiploint (SC-PTM) uses the eMBMS system architecture, providing enhancements in the air interface to improve radio efficiency and to reduce latency. SC-PTM supports broadcast/multicast services over single cell, and the broadcast/multicast area can be dynamically adjusted cell by cell according to user’s distribution.

SC-PTM transfers the broadcast/multicast services using LTE downlink shared channel (i.e. PDSCH), and it is scheduled using a common RNTI (i.e. Group-RNTI) for a group of users. The SC-PTM scheduling is quite agile and radio resources could be dynamically assigned in time and frequency domain by PDCCH based on real time traffic load TTI by TTI.

Recent News

3GPP in the top ten technology trends for 2016

January 2016

An end-of-year review - from CNBC news - places 3GPP's mobile network evolution at number 3 in their 2016 'key themes that are likely to dominate the landscape', just behind flexible displays and advanced 'earbuds' for hands free and cable free audio.

Although CNBC sees the demand for LTE network equipment flattening in the New Year, they highlight the importance of 3GPP IoT work, in the face of competition from non standards based proprietary technologies, as an important space to watch.

LTE-Advanced Pro Ready to Go

October 28, 2015

3GPP has approved a new LTE marker that will be used for the appropriate specifications from Release 13 onwards.

LTE-Advanced Pro will allow mobile standards users to associate various new features – from the Release’s freeze in March 2016 – with a distinctive marker that evolves the LTE and LTE-Advanced technology series.

The new term is intended to mark the point in time where the LTE platform has been dramatically enhanced to address new markets as well as adding functionality to improve efficiency.

The major advances achieved with the completion of Release 13 include: MTC enhancements, public safety features – such as D2D and ProSe - small cell dual-connectivity and architecture, carrier aggregation enhancements, interworking with Wi-Fi, licensed assisted access (at 5 GHz), 3D/FD-MIMO, indoor positioning, single cell-point to multi-point and work on latency reduction. Many of these features were started in previous Releases, but will become mature in Release 13.

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