4LTE Technology for PPDR Communications

4.1 Standardization Roadmap towards Mission-Critical LTE

LTE [1] is part of the GSM evolutionary path established by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) for mobile broadband, following EDGE, UMTS, HSPA and HSPA Evolution (HSPA+). The LTE standardization work within 3GPP started in 2004. The first specification (LTE Release 8) was frozen in December 2008 and was the basis for the first wave of LTE equipment that entered in the market in late 2009. From Release 8, enhancements are being introduced in subsequent releases. The production of a new 3GPP standards release usually takes between 18 and 24 months, and the introduction of new major capabilities into the standards typically spans several releases. At the time of writing, the latest frozen release is Release 11, with the core network protocols stable in December 2012 and radio access network (RAN) protocols stable in March 2013. Work is in progress towards LTE Release 12 (functional freeze date1 set for March 2015) and LTE Release 13 (functional freeze date set for March 2016). From Release 10 onwards, the technology is referred to as LTE-Advanced since it fulfils the requirements set by ITU for IMT Advanced (i.e. 4G) systems. Some new capabilities brought by LTE Release 10 such as carrier aggregation (CA) have been already commercially deployed along 2014.

The standards work developed at 3GPP is evolving today’s mobile broadband technologies by aiming to address the immense ...

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