Standards for MCPTT, Mission-Critical Video and Data Completed
Thursday, January 18, 2018 | Comments

Remaining standards work on mission-critical push to talk (MCPTT) and mission-critical video and data was completed during the latest Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) meetings in December in Lisbon, Portugal.

The remaining stage three work for Long Term Evolution (LTE) Release 14 on MCPTT, mission-critical video (MCVideo) and mission-critical data (MCData) was completed, and each specification set was considered 100 percent complete during the Core Network and Terminals (CT) Plenary, said Dean Prochaska, director of standards for the U.S. First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet).

Work on Release 15, including interworking to legacy mobile radio technology and continued additions to MCPTT, MCVideo and MCData, is underway. The CT plenary is also working on 5G specifications.

“CT has challenging schedules and resource constraints to complete 5G, so we plan to work closely with our standards counterparts to ensure progress continues in parallel on public-safety work,” Prochaska said in a blog.

The Service and System Aspects (SA) Plenary completed stage two of 5G and officially approved several public-safety items. At the last plenary meeting, much of the discussion focused on renaming the current mission-critical specifications to remove the limiting “over LTE” wording, so existing specifications can be reused for 5G and beyond.

Renaming stage one mission-critical specifications was completed and approved at the December meeting. Other 3GPP committees are evaluating their mission-critical specifications to generalize their titles, make technical changes where required and modify other language as needed within the specifications themselves.

The SA plenary committee also reviewed the progress on the normative stage two (architecture development) technical specification describing the architecture for interworking between MCPTT and legacy professional mobile radio (PMR)/LMR systems. This specification was scheduled to be completed and approved at the meeting; however, the specification is only 90 percent complete. An exception to continue the work for a few more months was requested and approved. Delegates are optimistic that enough work has been completed to allow stage three (protocol development) work to begin and that all stages of the suite of LMR interworking specifications will be finished by the original target date of June 2018.

Additionally, the committee reviewed normative stage two work on railway communications and common application programming interface (API) framework and approved the final specifications. The railway communication work leverages the mission-critical services specifications and will add to the economy of scale when deploying public-safety features. Work on railway communications, as well as additions and enhancements to MCPTT, MCVideo, MCData and LMR interworking features, will continue into Release 16.

From a broader perspective, the Lisbon, Portugal, meeting saw the completion of the specifications for non-standalone 5G new radio (NR). 3GPP defined two stages of 5G introduction: non-standalone and standalone. Non-standalone 5G NR will use the existing LTE core network as an anchor for mobility management and coverage, while 5G NR channels are used to increase data rates and take advantage of the reduced latency defined in the specifications. This is the configuration that will be the target of early 2019 deployments.

The standalone specification is planned to be completed around June. It will enable standalone 5G NR with user and control plane using the 5G next-generation core network (5G NGC), which is also being defined in 3GPP. The December participants confirmed the phase two standalone 5G NR will be completed by June 2018.

During the SA plenary, the newly defined requirements for 5G Unified Access Control (UAC) framework were accepted. 5G UAC framework complements the legacy LTE access classes that provide the capability to allow high priority — public safety — traffic while barring lower priority traffic in case of network congestion. The framework also provides flexibility for traffic barring based on users as well as access types, such as service. The 5G UAC framework is backwards compatible with LTE by maintaining the priority access classes 11 through 15.

“While 5G NR is developing fast, one needs to keep in mind that equal, if not more resources are being spent on further enhancing LTE and its features,” said FirstNet’s Prochaska. “Also, it is important to note that LTE is going to stay for a long period of time. As new features are developed for 5G, there will be equal efforts expended to support these new features on LTE for some time to come.” The full blog is here.

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On 3/18/18, richard jobson said:
As a test solution vendor, how do we get involved? How can we offer our test monitoring to the certification services to contribute to verification of the objectives of the interoperability test sessions?

On 1/24/18, Kit Kilgour said:
While officially correct to say that Release 14 mission-critical specifications are complete, getting the Release 14 specifications to be officially complete is partly achieved by moving the incomplete parts into the subsequent release Release 15. Note that this is standard Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) working practice in order to freeze releases, not anything underhand.


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