3GPP progress on mission critical services

Overview on Mission Critical work in 3GPP

The 3GPP has been working on Mission Critical (MC) communications and services for over two years now as a major driver of the MC industry (think emergency services, railway and maritime). 3GPP started out with mission-critical push to talk (MCPTT) in Release 13 (completed in March 2016). The completion of MC Data and MC Video services are now close to completion. Other related topics in upcoming 3GPP releases include railways and maritime communications (MBMS APIS).

As a priority of 3GPP in recent years, a platform for MC communications and services is expected to evolve into the future by taking on board more requirements from different sectors of the global critical communications industry.

What can we expect to see in the near future?

Mission Critical Services and Industry Specific Requirements in 3GPP Rel-15 and beyond

All 3GPP working groups have already started work on Rel-15, the first release of the 5G system, and on service requirements for Rel-16, the second release of the 5G system.

Rel-15 sees the further evolution of MC Services with study items and evaluations on-going for other MC-related topics for this release and beyond. These topics include:

  • Interconnection between 3GPP defined MC systems
  • Interworking between the 3GPP defined MC system and legacy systems such as TETRA or P25, for voice and short data service
  • MC Service requirements from railway industries
  • MBMS APIs for MC Services
  • MC Service requirements from maritime industries

Conformance test standards for MC Services are also being developed within 3GPP. The initial set of test specifications on conformance testing Rel-13 MCPTT, is expected to be available by the end of 2017. Subsequently, conformance test specifications for Rel-14 and Rel-15 feature sets will be developed.

Rel-15 MC Services (in progress)

MC Services Common Functionalities Enhancements (enhanced MCPTT group call setup procedure with MBMS bearer; enhanced Location management, information and triggers; interconnection between 3GPP defined MC systems; interworking with legacy systems)

MCPTT Enhancements (remotely initiated MCPTT call; enhanced handling of MCPTT Emergency Alerts; enhanced Broadcast group call; updating pre-selected MC Service user profile; temporary group call - user regroup; functional alias identity for user and equipment; multiple simultaneous users).

MCVideo Additions (video push; video pull; private call (on-network); Broadcast Group Call; ambient Viewing Call; capability information sharing; Simultaneous Sessions; Use of MBMS transmission; Emergency and imminent peril private communications; Primary and Partner MC system interactions for MCVideo communications; Remote video parameters control capabilities).

MCData Additions (MCData specific Location; Enhanced Status; Accessing list of deferred communications; Usage of MBMS; Emergency Alert; Data streaming; File Distribution (FD) (off-network); IP connectivity).

MCPTT Conformance Tests (so far only for Rel-13 MCPTT)

Timeline for related 3GPP Releases for Rel-15 and beyond

  • MCPTT Improvements completion 06/2018
  • MCData completion 06/2018
  • MCVideo completion 06/2018
  • Railways (FRMCS) study ongoing in SA6,normative work completion ~06/2018
  • Interconnection between systems study completed,normative work completion ~06/2018
  • Interworking with legacy systems study completed,normative work completion ~06/2018
  • Maritime communications study ongoing in SA1
  • Railways (FRMCS2) study and normative work ongoing in SA1
  • MBMS APIs for MC Services study ongoing in SA6

Hashtags: #MissionCritical #3GPP #MCData #MCVideo #MBMS #APIS

Sources: Georg Mayer (LinkedIn), 3GPP CT Chairman; TelecomTV

TelecomTV plans to create a more detailed paper on MC Services, which will summarise the use cases and functional aspects of Rel-13, Rel-14 and upcoming Rel-15, later this year.