3GPP Partners, an organization of more than 370 leading mobile technology companies, has made a formal submission to the ITU on October 7, proposing their cellular-based LTE-Advanced system as a candidate for 4G standardization approval by the Internation Telecommunications Union.
The 3GPP group overviews their cellular progress and their approach to 4G in, “Framework and Overall Objectives of the Future Development of IMT-2000 and Systems beyond IMT-2000” (pdf).
3GPP’s proposal is called LTE-Advanced or Evolved Universal Radio Access (E-UTRA). Specifications could become available in 2011 through Release 10. Rel-10, a significant enhancement to Rel-8/Rel-9 LTE in order to meet IMT-Advanced requirements. It uses enhanced single and multi-user MIMO techniques, carrier aggregation schemes, collaborative/network MIMO, interference coordination schemes and relay enhancements to meet the ITU’s speed requirements.
The ITU is seeking proposals for “true” 4G wireless broadband standard, which they call IMT-Advanced. The ITU requires any 4G standard to deliver 100Mbps (mobile) and 1 Gbps (fixed) speeds. To achieve such network speeds, both the WiMAX camp and the cellular camp utilize channel bandwidths in excess of 20 MHz with 4X4 MIMO antennas and other techniques.
Earlier this week WiMAX backers submitted their own IMT-Advanced standard called IEEE 802.16 IMT-Advanced, based on the WiMAX 602.16m standard (Release 2.0)
It is expected to be mid to next decade before OFDMA-based systems like LTE have a large percentage of subscribers, and it could be well toward the end of the next decade before any IMT-Advanced system has a large subscriber base.
Still, Samsung said it plans to trial Release 2 via Clearwire in the United States and UQ Communications in Japan by late 2010. Yota also plans to put the first WiMax 2.0 units into service by the end of next year, although The WiMAX Forum expects to see WiMAX Release 2 available commercially in the 2011-2012 timeframe.
Speeds of up to 42 Mbps are supported by HSPA+ or HSPA Evolution. These speeds are achieved by combining new higher order modulation technology (64QAM), together with 2×2 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antenna technology. HSPA evolution at 42 Mbps was first demonstrated at CTIA Wireless 2008 using a handheld device.
Both LTE and WiMAX are often called “4G”, but they are not “official” 4G standards, according to the ITU. The ITU requires 100 Mbps (mobile) and 1 Gbps (fixed) speeds, among other criteria, to qualify as true “4G”. Both the cellular-based LTE-Advanced, and the WiMAX-based 802.16m Advanced (WiMAX 2.0) standards are likely to be approved by the ITU. Different vendors could then offer equipment that meets the standard. But the two standards are incompatible.
Some observers hold out hope that a single converged standard could come out of the ITU process. One possibility is the 802.16m standard becoming the time division duplex (TDD) version of LTE-Advanced. The politically challenge may be more difficult than the technical issues in such a convergence, however.
The deadline for submissions was October 7, and both the cellular and WiMAX camps submitted their proposals to the ITU on time. A long evaluation process is now expected, taking until at least October 2010. Unstrung notes that the evaluation formally begins at an ITU meeting in Dresden, next Wednesday. During that time, the ITU will consider whether or not each of the technologies meets the IMT-Advanced requirements.
Related DailyWireless stories include; IEEE Submits 802.16m to ITU for 4G , Towards a REAL “4G” Standard, Unified “4G” Standard Proposed, Japan Sub-channels WiMAX, Samsung WiMAXes MWC, Verizon: LTE in 25 to 30 Markets By 2010, Motorola Testing LTE in UK, Qualcomm: Our UMB Standard? Furgetaboutit.