GSA attended the 3GPP Project Co-ordination Group (PCG) meeting #36 and Organizational Partner (OP) meeting which were held in New Delhi, India on the 28th and 29th April 2016. PCG is responsible for the overall time-frame and management of technical work to ensure that 3GPP specifications are produced in a timely manner.
The weather in New Delhi was hot: +40˚C, (104 F) yet the hosts of the PCG#36 meeting, the Telecommunications Standards Development Society of India (TSDSI), ensured the meeting room at the India Habitat Centre was cool and comfortable. TSDSI became a fully-fledged 3GPP Organizational Partner (OP) in January 2015 and aims to develop and promote India-specific requirements, standardizing solutions for meeting international standards.
What did we discover?
3GPP Release 13 was frozen in March 2016 although there are some existing items to be concluded. The main item was the progress of Cellular IoT or Narrow Band-IoT which is planned for completion in June – though this could slip to September due to the decision to incorporate C-IoT within Rel. 13, creating a backlog of work within 3GPP.
NB-IoT progress has been very good considering the short time to complete the work.
The main radio characteristics are:
Bandwidth: 180 KHz
Deployment: In-band & Guard-band LTE, standalone
Downlink: OFDMA, 15 KHz tone spacing, TBCC, 1 Rx
Uplink: Single tone, 15 KHz and 3.75 KHz spacing; SC-FDMA, 15 KHz tone spacing, Turbo code
Peak rate: DL: ~50 kbps; UL: ~50 for multi-tone, ~20 kbps for single tone
Duplexing: HD (type B), FDD
Power saving: PSM, extended I-DRX, C-DRX
Power class: 23 dBm
Way forward on NB-IOT UE capabilities
Single-tone transmission support is a mandatory part of the NB-IoT UE category
Both subcarrier spacings, 3.75 kHz and 15 kHz, are mandatory components of the NB-IoT UE category
IOT bit to indicate whether UE supports 15 kHz multi-tone transmission
There is good progress for Rel. 14 and a number of new LTE enhancements to improve system efficiency are being studied. These include enhancements on FD-MIMO, Uplink Capacity, VoLTE, and Layer 2 latency. In addition there is a plan to introduced a “basket approach” to manage new LTE Carrier Aggregation band combinations.
The 3GPP submission to IMT 2020 (aka 5G) will include a “New Radio of 5G”, aka NR. (Though a new name will be suggested). A key requirement for the NR design should be that it is forward compatible at its core so that features can be added in later release in the most optimal way.
Current timing for future releases are:
Rel.14 – June 2017
Rel. 15 – September 2018
Rel. 16 – March 2020.
There will be two phases to the 5G work. Phase 1 is planned to be completed by September 2018/Rel-15 to address a more urgent subset of the commercial needs (details to be agreed). Phase 2 is planned to be completed by March 2020/Rel-16 for the IMT 2020 submission and to address all identified use-cases & requirements.
The proposed merger of RAN and GERAN TSGs was reported to be on schedule. The revised Terms of Reference were endorsed by the PCG for submission at the OP meeting the following day and were approved. Since this would be the last time that Olof Liberg would be reporting to the PCG, Olof was thanked for his services as TSG GERAN Chairman.
3GPP marketing presented a proposal that professional assistance should be obtained in order to determine the name to be used for 3GPP’s series of “5G” specifications. This should be ready to be announced at Mobile World Congress (Barcelona) in February 2017. Previous names such as HSPA, LTE etc. had come about from internally based programs and while they were well known it is felt that given the far reaching and different implications for 5G that a more consumer and business orientated name should be developed. The decision on how to progress this would be made by the end of May to be able to meet the proposed timeline.
Market Representative Partners
GSA, GSMA, NGMN, UMTS Forum, COAI and 5G Americas presented.
It was noted that in India the ARPU was very low – typically $2 per month and ideas were needed to find a way to increase this figure. GSMA has recently corresponded with the India government to urge them to lower the price of 700 MHz spectrum which was expected to be auctioned in 2016.
There are moves in the industry to engage with and to better understand different vertical industries and how mobile technologies will be used.
It was generally agreed that spectrum was gaining in importance and that WRC-19 activity was needed. GSA has become more active in spectrum issues with the formation of the GSA Spectrum Group (GSG). Dr. Wee (TTA) stressed the importance of GSA to produce spectrum reports that clarified assumptions in areas such as spectrum sharing so that spectrum discussions could be based on more accurate facts.
GSA presented some of the latest market data from the GSA Evolution to LTE Report and communicated that hot topics based on the high volume of downloads from the GSA Web Site included, VoLTE, Spectrum Sharing, eMBMS, LTE-Advanced Pro and IoT. The next update to the GSA 5G Executive Report would be published in June just prior to the 5G World event at Olympia in London. GSA will host a 5G Round Table on the 28th June where the paper, which will focus on spectrum issues, will be discussed.
GSA welcomed Intel as the latest GSA Executive Member and both Radisys and Drayson Technologies as new Members. New GSA subscriptions were also mentioned as access to the GSA GAMBoD devices database increases its relevance to the industry. A total of 5,105 LTE devices are now logged into the database, while another 1,000 devices have been identified and need to be added – which will take a little time to complete.
Mr. Phil Kinder (TCCA) appreciated the the completion of Mission Critical Push-to-Talk in Rel. 13 and noted that a number of countries were committed to deploying this function.
Two new MRPs were proposed at the Organizational Partners meeting, CTIA – The Wireless Association, originally known as the Cellular Telephone Industries Association and GCF, the Global Certification Forum. Both proposals were approved. They join the other 3GPP MRPs: GSA, GSMA, NGMN Alliance, UMTS Forum, COAI, IPV6 Forum, Small Cells Forum, TD Industry Alliance, MDG, TCCA and 5G Americas (previously 4G Americas).
Dr. Wee (TTA Head of Delegation) is soon retiring from TTA and a vote of thanks was voiced by the whole of the OP meeting attendees for the many years support he has provided to 3GPP.
The next meeting of the PCG and OP will be 20-21 October in London.