What is the full form of 3GPP ?

What is 3 GPP?

3GPP stands for 3rd Generation Partnership Project. Many telecommunications associations grouped together and developed a global application of 3G communication. They were dedicated to making a better channel for people to share information and communicate with each other. This included many telecommunications corporations from different countries like Japan, China, South Korea, Europe, and the US.

There were two associations from Japan: “Radio Industries and Business” and the “Telecommunication Technology Committee.”. “China Communication Standard Association” was from China, “Telecommunication Technology Association” was from South Korea, “European Telecommunication Standard Institute” was from Europe, “Telecommunication Standards Development Society" was from India, and the one from the US was “Alliance for Telecommunication Industry Solution." They were all together known as 3 GPP. This association was held in December 1998 in Europe.

They provide members with a stable environment to produce the reports and specializations that define 3GPP technologies.

3GPP Ecosystem

Description: This illustrates the working of 3GPP ecosystem

Standards of 3GPP

Following are the standards of 3GPP −


GSM stands for “Global System for Mobile Communication,” and it was developed by the European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI).The GSM architecture works with the help of MS, BSS, and NSS. MS stands for Mobile System, it refers to the mobile phone we are using daily. BSS stands for Base Station Subsystem which is divided into two parts BTS (Base Trans receiver Station) and BSC (Base Station Controller). BTS handles the task of sending or receiving the signals to different MS. While the BSS maintains the flexibility of BTS and maintains the traffic of signals. It also ensures that BTS doesn't have a lot of hectic schedules. It included 2G networks.

BSS is connected to NSS, which is the central part of this architecture. It contains all the data about the user. NSS stands for Network Switching Subsystem, which is subdivided into 5 parts and they are MSC (Mobile Switching Center), VLR, HLR, AUC, and EIR. The major role is played by MSC in NSS. MSC helps in call switching. The parts like VLR, HLR, AUC, and EIR help MSC and reduce its work. So the pressure on MSC can be reduced.


HSPA stands for “High Speed Packet Access” and it provides faster transmission than GSM. It provides transmission service faster than GSM because it collects data in packets and these packets provide data in one go so its speed of data is a bit faster. It utilises WCDMA protocol to work. There are mainly two types of protocol that work parallel to HSPA. They are “High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA)” and “High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA)”. They both mainly increase the speed of 14mb/s and 5.8 mb/s respectively. HSDPA was released with Release 5 and HSUPA was released with Release 6.

HSPA with the help of HSDPA and HSUPA reduces latency which means it increases smoothness of applications which use high network signals. HSPA increases system capacity and reduces the production cost per bit. The main problem with HSPA is that it is not suitable for Low bandwidth application for eg. Voice application. It is for 3G networks.


LTE stands for “Long Term Evaluation” and it is also known as 3GPP LTE. It was developed because in 2004, WCDMA rolled out and 3GPP decided to move completely towards Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing as modulation. The main focus was on converting the core network into a pure packet switched network. It included 4G networks.

Goals for LTE are −

  • It aimed to achieve a peak data rate of 100 Mbit/s in downlink and 50 Mbit/s in uplink.

  • Spectral efficiency was 5 and 2.5 bit/s/Hz for downlink and uplink respectively.

  • Control panel latency was between 50 and 100 ms.

  • User plane latency was about 5 ms in network with single MS.

5G Standards

This standard is newly defined by 3GPP with release 15. As the era of digitalization increases, demand for high speed networks is rapidly increasing due to which efforts are made to improve network connection. The 5 generation standard has the highest speed compared to other standards. 5G is already launched in the market.


3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) and 3GPP2 (3rd Generation Partnership Project 2) are both standards organizations focused on developing standards for mobile communications technology. However, they have some differences in their focus and scope.

  • 3GPP focused on WCDMA while 3GPP2 focused on CDMA 1X and EVDO.

  • 3GPP was hosted by ETSI in Europe with partners from America and Asia while 3GPP2 was hosted by TIA in the USA with partners from Asia.

  • 3GPP has developed 4G and now 5G. But 3GPP2 is still offering a 3G network.

  • 3GPP provides its services in Asia and America while 3GPP2 provides its service of 3G Worldwide.

So we say that 3GPP develops faster than 3GPP2. Both are the standard body behind the Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS).


The data we use today to transmit our information was developed due to the collaboration of a six country's Telecommunication company’s association. Now the network speed has improved a lot. We started with 1G and today we use a 5G network. As technology is growing the demand for high speed networks is increasing and tirelessly efforts are made to improve the network.


Q1. How many BTS and BSC are present in a single BSS, and how many BSS are connected to an NSS?

Ans. There are 4–5 BTS present in BSS, while there is only one BSC. And many BSS can be connected to NSS. There is no fixed number of BSS counts connected to NSS.

Q2. What are HSDPA and HSUPA?

Ans. When the tower sends a signal to the mobile system, it is HSDPA. And when the mobile system sends the signal to the tower, it is HSUPA. They both enhance the speed of data access.

Q3. What is the relationship between 3GPP and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)?

Ans. 3GPP works closely with the ITU to develop and maintain standards for mobile communications technology. The ITU sets overall guidelines and recommendations for global telecommunications, while 3GPP develops the technical specifications and standards for specific mobile technologies.

Updated on: 14-Apr-2023


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