The Project Coordination Group of 3GPP
What is the Project Coordination Group and the 3GPP consortium of telecommunications companies?
Huawei developed a city-aware network using a "one network, one platform, N application" construction model utilising IoT, cloud computing, big data, and other next-generation information and communications technology. It aims to be one of the world's five largest cloud players in the near future. Originally Narrowband IoT was a standard developed by 3GPP for mobile phone devices and networks.
3GPP (the Third Generation Partnership Project) is a 'standards' organisation for developing protocols for mobile telephony most notably 2G, 3G, GPRS and now 5G technology. In terms of structure, 3GPP is a consortium of seven larger telecommunications firms (see below) spread across the USA, China, Europe, Japan and Korea. These firms are known as Organizational Partners and they in turn can invite market representatives within each group. The theory is that this creates a forum, or method by which 3GPP can develop consensus views as to where the needs within the sector are and what areas should attract more time and resources. That is the theory. So far so good. At the top of the 3GPP structure is the Project Coordination Group (PCG), which is the highest decision-making body and essentially decides where the resources are directed. Generally speaking of course, the 'man on the street' is not likely to have heard of the PCG and is certainly not aware of the power such an organisation can command in terms of dictating the direction of communications technology. From a political perspective, and with National Security in mind, this topic in itself can take up many web pages of analysis. For now, we examine the basic power structure and the reality of what controls the PCG has.
Specifically, the PCG has responsibility for:
Determination of overall time-frame and management of overall work progress.
Final adoption of work items within the agreed 3GPP scope.
Allocation of budgeted human and financial resources to each TSG as provided by Organisational Partners.
Allocation of additional voluntary human and/or financial resources to each TSG as provided by Individual Members.
Appointment of PCG Chairman
Although certainly points one and two are important, the most fundamental power concerns the allocation of "financial resources" to each TSG. This instantly begs the questions, what financial resources and where do these resources come from? We will come onto that a little later.
In terms of who is in the PCG and who controls them (at least appears to), the key personnel at the top are elected individuals from a variety of backgrounds, namely;
Chairman Wang ZHIQIN
ViceChairman Seiji NISHIOKA
ViceChairman Luis Jorge ROMERO
ViceChairman Susan MILLER
Secretary Adrian SCRASE
The organisations these individuals come from are;
W. Zhiqin - CCSA
The China Communications Standards Association
S. Nishioka - ARIB
The Association of Radio Industries and Businesses
L.R. Romero - ETSI
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute
S. Miller - ATIS
The Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions
A. Scrase - 3GPP
3GPP Support -
So who are the 'magnificant seven' or the firms that make up the 3GPP. The seven telecommunications standard development organizations (ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TSDSI, TTA, TTC), are also known as “Organizational Partners” and they provide their members with a stable environment to produce the Reports and Specifications that define 3GPP technologies.
3GPP specifications and studies are contribution-driven, by member companies, in Working Groups and at the Technical Specification Group (TSG) level. The three TSG's in 3GPP are;
Radio Access Networks (RAN),
Services & Systems Aspects (SA),
Core Network & Terminals (CT)
These TSGs, meet regularly and come together for their quarterly TSG Plenary meeting, where their work is presented for information, discussion and approval. Each TSG in turn has a particular area of responsibility for the Reports and Specifications within its own Terms of Reference (Details available in the Specification Groups on the 3GPP website which, for the time being, is currently not working. Ironically they seem to be having communication and IT issues).
Research is currently being compiled and will be available on the site shortly. So far, the objective is to simply and succinctly outline the key organisers in the market and draw some lines to connect a few, less than obvious dots. This will add more texture and layers to what might be an interesting painting....visit soon.