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CDMA Development Group: Overview of Third Generation Systems Development

PCS ‘97 -- Dallas, TX
September 10, 1997

Advanced Systems Initiative -- Objectives and Requirements

The CDMA Development Group (CDG) launched its Advanced Systems Initiative in March 1997 to guide the evolution of cdmaOne into a worldwide Third Generation (3G) wireless standard. cdmaOne is the global technology brand for IS-95 based CDMA products and services.

The objective of the Advanced Systems Initiative is the development of specifications for 3G systems that meet or exceed the IMT-2000 requirements set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The needs of cdmaOne system operators provide another set of equally important requirements. These requirements include:

  • High speed data transmission
  • High quality, high capacity voice services
  • Internet access and multimedia capabilities
  • Seamless global mobility
  • Low-cost, easy-to-operate subscriber devices and network infrastructure
  • Ease of operation and maintenance
  • Ease of service control and customization

In addition, the CDG effort will preserve sufficient commonality with existing cdmaOne networks to allow graceful migration to the new standard. Furthermore, the 3G system will minimize requirements for new capital investment by exploiting existing cdmaOne infrastructure equipment and network development tools whenever possible.

Advantages of Third Generation cdmaOne

A number of CDMA-based proposals are under development internationally for 3G systems. However, only the CDG system evolves from existing cdmaOne technology, which provides several key advantages over competing proposals:

  • A clear migration path for existing cdmaOne operators to upgrade their networks to 3G standards
  • The significant experience of cdmaOne manufacturers with developing and implementing CDMA systems
  • Reduced risk for operators by reusing, whenever possible, proven cdmaOne infrastructure equipment, system planning tools, billing systems and other network elements, thereby minimizing the need for completely new air interface and network systems
  • Expanded global roaming capabilities for both cdmaOne and 3G network operators through the inherent compatibility of the two systems
  • The capability to deploy entirely new 3G networks or overlay existing cdmaOne networks, thereby providing flexibility to address the unique needs of each service provider
  • The ability for operators to deploy 3G services in areas of their market where demand for such services is greatest, while continuing to provide cdmaOne services throughout their entire market

cdmaOne systems provide the greatest subscriber capacity of any commercially deployed technology worldwide. The evolution of these systems will allow operators to provide capacity as needed to meet future demands.

Finally, the 3G system will enjoy full system integration, including enhancements to IS-41 that allow interoperability with other wireless standards.

Participating Organizations and the Role of the CDG

The CDG is playing a key role in the development process by providing a forum for the definition of next generation services and capabilities and by facilitating the development of 3G standards in international standards bodies such as the ITU. In addition, the CDG intends to work closely with international organizations to build the broadest possible coalition for the development of next generation cdmaOne systems

Many CDG member organizations are participating in the CDG Advanced Systems Initiative, including:

  •  360° Communications
  • AirTouch Communications
  • ALLTEL Communications
  • Ameritech Cellular Services
  • BC TEL Mobility
  • Bell Atlantic Mobile
  • Bell Mobility Cellular
  • DDI Corporation
  • Denso
  • ETRI
  • Fujitsu
  • GTE
  •  Hitachi Telecom (USA), Inc.
  • Hughes Network Systems
  • IDO Corporation
  • LG Telecom, Inc.
  • Lucent Technologies
  • MCI
  • Motorola
  • NEC
  • Nokia
  • Nortel
  • Oki Telecom
  • Panasonic
  •  PrimeCo Personal Communications
  • QUALCOMM
  • Samsung
  • Sharp
  • Shinsegi Telecomm, Inc.
  • Siemens Wireless Terminals
  • SK Telecom
  • Sprint PCS
  • Texas Instruments
  • US Robotics
  • US West
  • Sony


The Advanced Systems team has outlined user requirements and will begin assessing technical proposals from the service providers’ perspective. The team’s goal is to provide manufacturers with an understanding of operator needs while informing service providers of alternative technical approaches to 3G systems.

Schedule and Timing of 3G Development

A recent improvement to existing cdmaOne standards will serve as a stepping stone to next generation systems. In June 1997, the CDG Data Team completed an effort to define high speed data services, such as incorporating 64 kbps symmetrical data capabilities into the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) standard IS-95 Rev. B, the next revision of the cdmaOne air-interface specification. Finalization of IS-95 Rev. B is expected by the end of 1997 and initial operational capability of cdmaOne high speed data services is expected in 1999.

These services will be applicable to all cdmaOne networks, such as wireless local loop (WLL), PCS and cellular, and will provide customers with Internet access, high speed file transfer and multimedia capabilities. In addition to the high speed data effort, advancements in international roaming and WLL will also enhance existing cdmaOne systems and provide an intermediate level of service between cdmaOne and 3G systems.

In a parallel development, the CDG submitted a draft document titled "Service Description, User Requirements and System Capabilities for Third Generation CDMA Systems Applicable to IMT-2000" to the TR 45.5 subcommittee of the TIA in August 1997. This document outlines 3G requirements and will serve as a guideline for developing 3G technical standards.

Following the submission of the draft document to TR 45.5, the development process for 3G standards is progressing according to the following timeline:

Phase Objectives Period
Concept Review proposals on 3G systems development June 1997 - Dec. 1997
Standardization Develop draft proposal for 3G standardSubmit 3G proposal to standards bodiesFinalize 3G standards Jan. 1998 - Dec. 1999
Verification Validate 3G system in laboratoryConclude field trials of 3G system 1998 - 2000

Based on this development timeline, 3G systems are expected to be commercially available in the 2000 — 2001 time period.

Summary
  • The evolution of cdmaOne provides many advantages for operators
  • The CDG is playing a key role in the development of 3G systems by facilitating the definition of services and capabilities and the development of 3G standards.
  • The CDG intends to work with the broadest possible coalition of member companies and international organizations to develop a worldwide 3G standard
  • 3G systems are expected to be commercially available in the 2000 — 2001 time period