LTE & 5G
GCF was originally established as a certification scheme for mobile phones based on GSM technology. The GCF Certification has continued to evolve in parallel with the mobile telecommunications industry to include advances in 3GPP technologies including GPRS, EDGE, 3G UMTS, HSDPA, HSPA+, LTE and LTE-Advanced.
The adoption of LTE by many of the world's CDMA network operators was a driver in the initiative to integrate CDMA certification into GCF.
Extending GCF Certification to new technologies depends on:
- Stable core specifications
- Readiness of test specifications
- Availability of mature LTE reference terminals for test validation
- Timely investment in test platforms from the test industry.
GCF formally started the development of LTE Certification in March 2008 and has played a major role in focussing the efforts of manufacturers, operators, standards organisations and the test industry to bring the key building blocks together.
Whereas 3G UMTS was initially deployed in a single band, from the outset a considerably wider range of frequency bands have been allocated to LTE by different regions and countries. Through a carefully designed work programme, GCF has been able to accommodate new bands as they have been introduced. GCF's project structure ensured that delivery of Certification for LTE in each band is independent of others, ensuring optimum progress.
LTE Certification covers both FDD and TDD variants, enhancements such as Carrier Aggregation (CA) and interworking with 3G UMTS and CDMA2000 in multi-mode products.
GCF's experience will be highly relevant to the successful commercialisation of 5G which is expeced to include at least one new wireless technology implemented across multiple frequency bands.