Gaining immense popularity with the introduction of 5G technology all across the world, the telecommunication market has proved itself as the backbone of connectivity among people.
Commercializing the telecom industry had been a gamechanger in India’s telecommunication market as the influx of private companies has led to an exponential growth of this sector. And the day is not far from reach when 5G will be introduced in India’s market on a large scale.
But all this came into being due to the introduction of some form of specifications that were set for the telecommunication industry worldwide so that adoption of new generations as well as technologies could be achieved flawlessly by every country irrespective of their region, technological advancements, etc.
3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) can be defined as a collective term for many standards organizations that develop and maintain protocols for mobile telecommunications for their respective countries.
Understanding 3GPP Standards can be a little tricky as the project was initially based on developing globally applicable specifications for 3G mobile systems. But its importance grew once the telecom advanced to a new level.
Though difficult and a little confusing, Understanding 3GPP Standards can be done with some knowledge of its history and its new goal in this modern world.
3GPP: History and Background
3GPP was initially created in December 1998 when the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) collaborated with other standard development organizations (SDOs) from around the world to develop new technical specifications for 3G cellular networks.
The 3GPP partnership was formed to develop wireless internet initiative done between AT&T and Nortel Networks.
Thus, a standards forum for this initiative was formed that decided that the 3G network would be based on the GSM model, which followed the European 2G standard.
That partnership project has now evolved with its new focus to maintain and develop GSM technical specifications and reports.
Understanding 3GPP Standards
One of the most popular misunderstandings about Understanding 3GPP Standards is that it is a standardization body. Instead, 3GPP’s main aim is to develop and maintain global technical specifications. It makes sure that network equipment and handset manufacturers can easily develop products interoperable all around the world.
3GPP can be considered a collective activity between well-established regional standard organizations.
After Understanding 3GPP Standards, the next task is to understand its composition that includes major telecommunications standards organizations around the world, including Japan’s Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB) and Telecommunication Technology Committee (TTC), China Communications Standards Association (CCSA), Europe’s European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), South Korea’s Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA) and USA’s Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS).
Understanding 3GPP Standards can be done easily once we understand the basic structure of these standards that are designed for mobile systems based on evolved GSM core networks, and also for the radio access technologies. Thus, including the maintenance and development of:
- 2G as well as 2.5G standards, along with General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) and EDGE
- 3G standards, and HSPA, Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (UTRA) and Japan’s Freedom of Mobile Multimedia Access (FOMA)
- Long-Term Evolution wireless broadband technology, LTE Advanced and 4G Standards
- 5G standards
And though, Understanding 3GPP Standards and their composition is a lengthy process as these standards consist of hundreds of technical specifications, we will not dive into more details further.
Importance of 3GPP in India
The establishment of 3GPP has acted as a great influencer for India’s telecom standard authority as the country is slowly garnering an international presence due to its vast number of mobile subscribers.
This led to the establishment of TSDSI that is a non-profit organization, recognized by DoT as the National Telecom Standards Development Organization (SDO).
TSDSI works to reflect India-specific requirements in various global standards forums to ensure India’s point of view and its specific requirements in global standards, which includes 5G technologies.
After Understanding 3GPP Standards thoroughly, TSDSI also acts as a platform to draw people from industries like operators, manufacturers, designers and system integrators, academia, R&D, and regulatory bodies, etc., to develop and contribute their innovations at a national level and global platforms like 3GPP, ITU.
Similarly, in the recent case of 5G specifications and standards set internationally, 5Gi submitted by TSDSI has been successfully approved by ITU (International Telecommunication Union) after Understanding 3GPP Standards related to 5G in a detailed manner.
This development has also set the bar for TSDI’s competence to remodel the specifications according to India’s requirements and serves as a sign that India should look to crafting its own 5G version.
And though India’s telecom advancements are still lagging in many ways, Understanding 3GPP Standards as well as implementing them effectively according to Indian needs will take India’s telecom sector to new heights.