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4G Americas Publishes Primer on 3GPP Release 12

BELLEVUE, WA -- (Marketwired) -- 03/25/14 -- In 2013, global mobile data traffic grew 81 percent, while the number of mobile connections grew by another half billion, according to Cisco's Visual Networking Index. As a recent 4G Americas white paper explains, 3GPP Release 11 (Rel-11) and Release 12 (Rel-12) provides operators with powerful new tools for staying ahead of that demand.

4G Americas, a wireless trade association representing the 3GPP family of technologies, today published an executive summary of the Release 12 section of 4G Mobile Broadband Evolution: 3GPP Release 11 & Release 12 and Beyond, a white paper that was first published in February 2014 and authored by members of a 4G Americas working group. The new executive summary, Inside 3GPP Release 12: Understanding the Standards for HSPA+ and LTE-Advanced Enhancements is ideal for journalists, analysts, regulators and others who want a concise primer that explains Rel-12's major features and how they benefit operators and customers.

Michael Peeters, CTO, Wireless Business Line at Alcatel-Lucent and leader of the 4G Americas working group, commented, "Mobile broadband has become a key economic driver; with it, information, safety, entertainment and enterprise applications are meeting the insatiable demand of citizens in the world." Peeters continued, "Ongoing standards work at 3GPP will be a primary factor to continue to deliver network and device performance to meet these growing demands."

Work began on Rel-12 in December 2012, just as Rel-11 standards were being finalized. Rel-12 is scheduled to be ratified by this September, with the exception of radio access network (RAN) protocols that will be finalized by December 2014.

The primary goal of Rel-12 is to provide mobile operators with new options for increasing capacity, extending battery life, maximizing cost efficiency, supporting diverse applications and traffic types, enhancing backhaul and providing customers with a richer, faster and more reliable experience with HSPA+ and LTE-Advanced. Some examples:

  • Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna systems receive two Channel State Information (CSI) enhancements and its benefits include improved spectral efficiency. As a result, Rel-12 MIMO is one preferred solution for operators in markets where additional spectrum will not be available for several more years.
  • Small cells are an ideal way for operators to provide coverage and capacity where they are most needed. Rel-12 maximizes small cells' spectral efficiency while reducing their signaling load on the core network, all of which makes it easier and faster for operators to widely deploy LTE small cells.
  • Proximity Services (ProSe) enhance LTE's ability to support first responders by enabling devices that are near each other to communicate directly rather than via the cellular network. This feature lets public safety personnel continue to use LTE for voice, video and broadband communications even when a network is unavailable, such as following a disaster.
  • Machine-to-machine (M2M) services are significantly different from smartphone applications in terms of how often and how long they connect. Rel-12 accommodates M2M's unique needs with new features such as power-saving states, all of which makes LTE a best-suited enabler for the Internet of Things.
  • Multimedia Broadcast/Multicast Services (MBMS) enhancements provide operators with new tools for seamlessly maintaining service when a node or interface fails. That reliability helps make LTE appropriate for mission-critical enterprise applications and public safety communications.

"3GPP provides blueprints for the future evolution of mobile technology as the world consolidates around LTE allowing for improved scope and scale with international coverage," said Vicki Livingston, Head of Communications for 4G Americas and co-leader of the 4G Americas working group that produced the white paper. "This summary condenses the detailed information in the full white paper on Release 12 to allow a snapshot of the improvements that are defined in the technology roadmap that will be commercialized in the next several years."

For more complete information, the full white paper, 4G Mobile Broadband Evolution: 3GPP Release 11 & Release 12 and Beyond, written collaboratively by members of 4G Americas, is available for free download at www.4gamericas.org.

About 4G Americas: Unifying the Americas through Mobile Broadband Technology
4G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of leading telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization's mission is to advocate for and foster the advancement and full capabilities of the 3GPP family of mobile broadband technologies, including LTE-Advanced, throughout the ecosystem's networks, services, applications and wirelessly connected devices in the Americas. 4G Americas contributes to the success of 3GPP technologies and their No. 1 place in the region. 4G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash. More information is available at www.4gamericas.org.

4G Americas' Board of Governors members include: Alcatel-Lucent, América Móvil, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Cisco, CommScope, Entel, Ericsson, HP, Mavenir, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Openwave Mobility, Qualcomm, Rogers, T-Mobile USA and Telefónica.

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