MCPTT CIoT protocol aspects & looking forward to a 5G CN

December 2015, Sitges, ES

Adrian Scrase, 3GPP Head of MCC, ETSI CTO:
Georg, here we are at the CT Plenary meeting in Sitges (TSG CT#70), what has happened here this week?

Georg Mayer, 3GPP CT Chairman, Huawei:
Basically, our task was to complete Release 13. Not everything is finished, so we have identified clearly what is still open – we will work on these exceptions for two months with everything due to be complete by March 2016.

AS: There is a lot of interest in MC-PTT functionality, to what extent has CT completed that task?

GM: This has been the biggest chunk of work for the past six months, we are now at 50% completion rate, with a lot of cooperation with other groups. We have set up two co-located meetings with other groups (Including SA6) to get to the open issues completed, by March 2016.

AS: Cellular IoT is another topic attracting some publicity. To what extent is CT working on CIoT?

GM: We know that other groups – working on Stage 2 – will formulate requirements for CT, from that we hope to achieve completion by March 2016. It is a challenge, as we will have to get this done all in one short burst, but people that are behind that are very committed and I too am positive that we can achieve that.

AS: Looking ahead to 5G, what are your views on the way that the core network may evolve for the next generation?

GM: Talking about 5G is speculation at this moment. Clear requirements are coming in, but we have to be careful before saying ‘this will happen’. There are certain lines that are already visible, we worked on a few features that point to a certain direction in Rel-13, such as ‘flexible mobile service steering’ and ‘dedicated networks’, which point to a certain direction for the future. Now, for 5G we can talk about further changes to the Core network, but this needs to be looked in to.

AS: Some say we should have a network slicing approach, would that need a complete rethink of the core network?

GM: It might, but it is not yet clear what functionality will be demanded from us, will it be really serving verticals (IoT, CC) or will it be from a cost effectiveness point-of-view? For all these approaches, we need to have a better technical understanding of the requirements.

AS: Is this driven by the radio access elements or is there a broader need to study this across the groups – including CT?

GM: We know that we have a hard requirement for low latency, it is clear that the radio group will write the rules on how the transmission inside the network needs to be done. On other things, like IoT or CC, it would be desirable that we look from an application perspective first of all – to have a clearer understanding. Stage 1 discussions are going on and we are in that process.

AS: Can 3GPP delegates rethink the way the core network could be engineered in the future?

GM: An open mind is needed and we have always made decisions in 3GPP, I am confident in CT and also in 3GPP SA – for architecture – we have the right people to take the core network forward.

AS: Looking at the timeline – does the 2020 date mean that you will be very bust in the coming year?

GM: The timeline I am most concerned with for the moment is March 2016, the completion of Rel-13, but I agree that for the whole industry that we have an enormous goal on 5G. The needs from the outside world are there and they are coming to us in 3GPP. We are an enabler for that and we have to fulfill our promise.

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