LTE 3GPP releases - 4G LTE Networks (2023)

Page on LTE 3GPP releasesUpdated – December 2015

Note the 3GPP and LTE logos are (C) ETSI and the 3GPP and usage is reserved. Reproduction here is for illustration only. Please refer to (C) holders for information and permissions.

LTE 3GPP releases - 4G LTE Networks (1)

LTE 3GPPreleases

Release 8 – LTE Introduced
Release 9 – Enhancement to LTE
Release 10 – LTE Advanced
Release 11 – Enhancement to LTE Advanced
Release 12 – Further enhancement to LTE Advanced
Release 13 – Meeting the growing throughput demand
Release 14 –The start of 5G standardization

Detailed Overview of LTE 3GPP releases

LTE 3GPP releases - 4G LTE Networks (2)


Release 8 – LTE Introduced

Release frozen in Dec 2008

It was 3GPP release 8 when LTE was introduced for the very first time. All the releases following only enhanced the technology.

Based on release 8 standardization, following were the main achievements

  • High peak data rates : Up to 300 Mbps in downlink and 75 Mbps in uplink when using 4×4 MIMO and 20 MHz bandwidth
  • High spectral efficiency
  • Flexible bandwidths: 1.4 MHz, 3 MHz, 5 MHz, 10 MHz, 15 MHz and 20 MHz
  • Short round trip time: 5 ms latency for IP packets in ideal radio conditions
  • Simplified Architecture
  • OFDMA in downlink and SC-FDMA in uplink
  • All IP network
  • MIMO multiple antenna scheme
  • Operation in paired (FDD) and unpaired spectrum (TDD)

Release 9 – Enhancement to LTE

Release frozen in Dec 2009

(Video) LTE Architecture Part 3: LTE Specs and 3GPP Releases

The initial enhancements were included to LTE in release 9. These were in fact the improvements which were left behind from release 8 or perhaps provided some minor improvements. These improvements are listed below with brief description

PWS (Public Warning System):Publicshould always receive timely and accurate alerts related to natural disasters or other critical situations. Commercial Mobile Alert System (CMAS) was introduced in release 9 in addition to ETWS introduced in release 8

Femto Cell:Femto cell is basically a small cell used in offices or homes and connected to providers’ networks through landline broadband connection. 3G Femto cells are deployed around world and in order for LTE users to take advantage of femto cell, new requirements were added to release 9

MIMO Beam forming:
Beamforming is used to increase cell edge throughput by directing beam towards specific UE by position estimation at eNB.In release 8, LTE supported single layer beam forming based on user-specific Reference Symbols. In release 9, single layer beam forming has been extended to multilayer beam forming

Self Organizing Networks (SON):SON means self installation, optimization and healing of networks in order to reduce manual work and cost associated with technical support.The idea of SON was introduced in release 8 though the focus was more towards eNBs self configuration where as in release 9, requirements for self optimization were also added

eMBMS:WithMultimedia broadcast Multicast Services (MBMS), operators have capability to broadcast services over LTE network. The idea is not novel to the LTE and has been used in legacy networks as well but for LTE, the MBMS channel has evolved from data rate and capacity perspective. The MBMS was already defined at physical layer in release8 but with release 9, higher layer and network layer aspects were completed

LTE Positioning:Three position methods are specified in LTE release 9 i.e. Assisted GPS (A-GPS), Observed Time difference of arrival (OTDOA) and Enhanced Cell ID (E-CID). The goal is to improve the accuracy of user locations in case of emergency scenarios where the user itself is unable to disclose his whereabouts

Release 10 – LTE Advanced

Release Frozen in March 2011

THE LTE-Advanced specifications in release 10 includes significant features and improvements to fulfil ITU IMT-Advanced requirements which sets higher speeds than what UE can achieve from 3GPP release 8 specifications. Some key requirements laid down by IMT-Advanced are as below

– 1 Gbps DL / 500 Mbps UL throughput

– High spectral efficiency

– Worldwide roaming

Following are some significant improvements in release 10

(Video) 4G LTE - Features of different LTE releases

Enhanced Uplink multiple access:Release 10 introduces clustered SC-FDMA in uplink. Release 8 SC-FDMA only allowed carriers along contiguous block of spectrum but LTE-Advanced in release 10 allows frequency-selective scheduling in uplink

MIMO enhancements:LTE-Advanced allows upto 8×8 MIMO in downlink and on the UE side it allows 4X4 in uplink direction

Relay Nodes:In order to decrease coverage loop holes, Relay nodes are one of the features proposed in release 10. The relay nodes or low power enbs extending the coverage of main eNB in low coverage environment. The relay nodes are connected to Donor eNB (DeNB) through Un interface.

enhanced inter-cell interference coordination (eICIC):
eICIC introduced in 3GPP release 10 to deal with interference issues in Heterogeneous Networks (HetNet).eICIC mitigates interference on traffic and control channels.eICIC uses power, frequency and also time domain to mitigate intra-frequency interference in heterogeneous networks

Carrier Aggregation(CA): CA introduced in release 10 is a cost effective way for operators to utilize their fragmented spectrum spread across different or same bands in order to improve end user throughput as required by IMT-Advanced. User throughput is increased by sending data simultaneously over two or more carriers. LTE-Advanced supports bandwidths up to 100 MHz formed by combining up to five 20MHz component carriers. Contiguous and non-contiguous carriers may be aggregated

Support for Heterogeneous Networks:The combination of large macro cells with small cells results in heterogeneous networks. Release 10 intended to layout the detail specification for heterogeneous networks

SON Improvements:Release 10 provides enhancements to SON features introduced in release 10 which also considers self healing procedures

Release 11 – Enhancement to LTE Advanced

Release Frozen in september 2012

Release 11 includes enhancements to LTE Advanced features standardized in release 10. Some of the important enhancements are listed below

Carrier Aggregation enhancements: Following are the major enhancements to carrier aggregation in release 11

– Multiple timing advances (TAs) for uplink carrier aggregation

– Non contiguous intra band carrier aggregation

– physical layer changes for carrier aggregation support in TDD LTE

(Video) LTE | what is LTE | Fundamental | 4g LTE | self organized network - SON | core network | 3gpp

Coordinated multipoint transmission and reception (CoMP):With CoMP the transmitter can share data load even if they are not collocated. Though they are connected by high speed fiber link

ePDCCH:New enhanced PDCCH introduced in 3GPP release 11 to increase control channel capacity. ePDCCH uses PDSCH resources for transmitting control information unlike release 8 PDCCH which can only use control region of subframes

Network based Positioning:In release 11, support for uplink positioning is added by utilizing Sounding reference signals for time difference measurements taken by many eNBs.

Minimization of drive test (MDT):Drive tests are always expensive. To decrease dependency on drive tests, new solutions introduced which are independent of SON though much related. MDT basically relies on information provided by UE

Ran overload control for Machine type communication:For machine type devices new mechanism has been specified in release 11 where network in case of mass communication from devices can bar some devices to send connection request to network

In Device Co Existence:Now a days, all mobile devices would usually carry multi radio transceivers like for LTE, 3G, Bluetooth, WLAN etc. Now this co existence results in interference. To mitigate this interference, release 11 has specified solutions as mentioned below

– DRX based time domain solutions

– Frequency domain solutions

– UE autonomous denials

Smartphone Battery saving technique:Many applications on smartphones generate background traffic which consumes battery power. Release 11 specifies a method where UE can inform network whether it needs to be operated in battery saving mode or normal mode and based on UE request network can modify DRX parameters

Release 12 – Further enhancement to LTE Advanced

Release Frozen in June 2014

Small cells enhancements:Small cells were supported since beginning with features like ICIC and eICIC in release 10. Release 12 introduces optimization and enhancements for small cells including deployments in dense areas. Dual connectivity i.e. inter-site carrier aggregation between macro and small cells is also a focus area

Carrier aggregation enhancements:Release 12 now allows carrier aggregation between co-located TDD and FDD carriers. In addition to carrier aggregation between TDD and FDD, there is also now three carrier aggregations possible for total of 60 Mhz spectrum aggregated

(Video) 3GPP specification a walkthrough

Machine Type communication (MTC):Huge growth is expected in machine type communication in coming years which can result in tremendous network signaling, capacity issues. To cope with this, new UE category is defined for optimized MTC operations

Wifi integration with LTE:With integration between LTE and Wifi, operators will have more control on managing WiFi sessions. In release 12, the intent is to specify mechanism for steering traffic and network selection between LTE and WiFI

LTE in unlicensed spectrum:An LTE operation in unlicensed spectrum is one of the study items in release 12. Operations in Bandwidth rich unlicensed spectrum brings many benefits to operators like increase in network capacity, load and performance

Release 13 – Meeting the growing throughput demand

Ongoing – Release expected to be frozen in Dec 2015

Carrier Aggregation enhancements:The goal in release 13 is to support carrier aggregation of upto 32 CC (component carriers) where as in release 10, the carrier aggregation was introduced with support of only upto 5 CC.

enhancements for Machine-Type communication (MTC):Continuing from release 12, there are further enhancements in MTC, a new low complexity UE category is being defined to provide support for reduced bandwidth, power and support long battery life.

LTE in unlicensed spectrum enhancements:The focus in release 13 is the aggregation of primary cell from licensed spectrum with secondary cell from unlicensed spectrum to meet the growing traffic demand

Indoor Positioning:In release 13 there is work going on improving existing methods of indoor positioning and also exploring new positioning methods to improve indoor accuracy

Enhanced multi-user transmission techniques:Release 13 also covers potential enhancements for downink multiuser transmission using superposition coding

MIMO enhancements:Upto 8 antenna MIMO systems are currently supported, the new study in this release will look into high-order MIMO systems with up to 64 antenna ports

Release 14 –The start of 5G standardization

Release 14 will mark the start of 5G work in 3GPP. In addition to the continued LTE evolution, a new radio access technology will be standardized, and these two technologies together will form 5G radio access. In this blog post, I will shed some light on a number of the key areas – low latency communication, spectrum flexibility, machine type communication, multi-antenna and multi-site transmission techniques, and ultra-lean design – and how they can be part of the upcoming 5G work in 3GPP.

5G will consist of LTE evolution together with a new radio-access technology, which we call “NX” in the following. LTE evolution will focus on backwards-compatible enhancements in existing spectrum up to ~6 GHz, while NX will focus on new spectrum, i.e. spectrum where LTE is not deployed. Although large amounts of contiguous spectrum are less cumbersome to find at higher frequencies, lower frequencies are important for wide-area coverage and the first NX deployments may very well target moderately high frequencies. NX will therefore be able to operate from below 1 GHz up to close to 100 GHz.

More information on LTE 3GPP releases:

For More Information on CableFree products and services, please Contact Usand our team will be delighted to advise on a precisesolution to match your exact requirements.

(Video) Mobile network technologies GSM/GPRS/UMTS/LTE


Which 3GPP release is 4G? ›

With Rel-8, the first release of 4G/LTE is launched.

Is 3GPP LTE same as 4G? ›

It is worth noting that it is faster than 3G. LTE covers a range of 3Mbps and falls just short of 4G speed. On the other hand, the international telecommunication network classified 4G as network standards operating with a download speed between 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps. This is the actual speed of genuine 4G networks.

Which release of 3GPP specification firstly studied 4G LTE? ›

Release frozen in Dec 2008

It was 3GPP release 8 when LTE was introduced for the very first time. All the releases following only enhanced the technology.

What is a 3GPP release? ›

3GPP uses a system of parallel "Releases" which provide developers with a stable platform for the implementation of features at a given point and then allow for the addition of new functionality in subsequent Releases.

When did 4G LTE come out? ›

4G Release History

Commercial phones were available shortly thereafter. 4G reached the United States in 2012, with five companies making the network available. The wireless generation was largely standard for mobile phone and mobile web use by the mid-2010s.

When 4G is released? ›

The world's first publicly available LTE service was opened in the two Scandinavian capitals, Stockholm (Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks systems) and Oslo (a Huawei system) on December 14, 2009, and branded 4G. The user terminals were manufactured by Samsung.

Why am I getting 4G LTE instead of 5G? ›

Your iPhone most likely says LTE instead of 5G because you are in an area where there is no 5G network available. Apple has a list of 5G compatible iPhone models and the countries where 5G networks are available.

Why does my phone say LTE instead of 4G? ›

In summary, LTE is a type of 4G technology that is designed to provide faster data speeds than previous wireless communication technologies. If your phone displays "LTE," it means that it is connected to an LTE network, while "4G" may indicate a connection to an HSPA+ network.

Is 3GPP and LTE same? ›

LTE is the part of 3GPP and evolved from the evolution of UMTS/HSPA cellular technology to meet current user demands of high data rates and spectral efficiencies. LTE specifications are jointly based on E-UTRA and E-UTRAN. The version specification for LTE is released in 3GPP Release 8.

What does 3GPP stand for? ›

Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP)

When was the first LTE release 3GPP? ›

3GPP Release 99 was the first release of the UMTS / WCDMA standard, and work on this proceeded with the introduction of HSDPA, the HSUPA to form HSPA. 3GPP Release 8 saw the first introduction of LTE and this was steadily updated with enhancements of LTE with LTE-A and improvements to many areas.

What are the 3GPP releases for 5G? ›

3GPP meets four times a year at the end of each quarter to plan and develop new releases, which improve upon past releases and provide new standardized functionalities. The four releases already slated for 5G are Releases 15, 16, 17 and 18, although 3GPP may add more as technology and user needs evolve over time.

What is 3GPP on cell phone? ›

The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is a collaborative project between a group of telecommunications associations with the initial goal of developing globally applicable specifications for third-generation (3G) mobile systems.

Which 3GPP releases are related to LTE Advanced? ›

3GPP groups added technology components into so called releases. Initial enhancements were included in 3GPP Release 9, followed by more significant improvements in 3GPP Release 10, also known as LTE-Advanced.

Why is 3GPP important? ›

3GPP specifications cover cellular telecommunications technologies, including radio access, core network and service capabilities, which provide a complete system description for mobile telecommunications.

Is 4G LTE still available? ›

4G phones still work on 4G LTE networks for now, but eventually they will become obsolete. Consider how long you plan to keep your phone; if you plan to keep your phone for longer than a year or so, it might be a good idea to get a phone that is 5G compatible.

Is 4G LTE shutting down? ›

T-Mobile announced that it finished shutting down Sprint's 3G CDMA network as of March 31, 2022 and Sprint's 4G LTE network as of June 30, 2022.

What was the first 4G LTE phone? ›

HTC Evo 4G
ManufacturerHTC Corporation
Slogan"The ultimate multimedia experience at Sprint 3G and 4G speeds"
Compatible networksSprint
Availability by regionJune 4, 2010
20 more rows

What happens to 4G if 5G comes out? ›

The growth of 5G networks doesn't mean 4G is going away. Mobile carriers will use existing 4G LTE networks to provide their customers' cell service well into the next decade. 5G networks will work with 4G — not outright replace it. The upshot is that 5G-capable cell phones will still use 4G technology.

How many years will 4G last? ›

Eventually, in an estimated 15 to 20 years when there are few 4G LTE devices in use, most if not all of the spectrum will be used for 5G.

Which country has 7G network? ›

We can say that internet speeds such as 7G or 8G are provided in Norway. Norway's top telecom service provider 'Telenor' increased the speed of personal internet usage in September last year. There are a total of three telecom companies in Norway, including Telenor, which have established their own mobile network.

Why does my Verizon phone say LTE instead of 5G? ›

When you're using data in an area not covered by 5G, your device automatically shifts to our 4G LTE network. Visit our Verizon 5G network coverage map.

Do I need a new SIM card for 5G? ›

Now we can revisit the earlier question: Do you need a new sim card to access the 5G network? The short answer is no, you do not need a new sim card to upgrade to 5G if your current sim card is working on 4G.

How do I change my LTE to 4G? ›

How to activate 4G/LTE on Android OS devices:
  1. Open “Settings”
  2. Tap on “More”
  3. Tap on “Mobile network”
  4. Tap on “Preferred network type”
  5. Choose “4G/3G/2G (auto)”

Why is my iPhone on LTE instead of 4G? ›

Depending on the wireless carrier, 4G can indicate either a UMTS or LTE connection. If your carrier doesn't support VoLTE and is a CDMA carrier, you'll only see an option to Enable LTE. This allows cellular-data use over the LTE network when available. Learn more about cellular data networks.

What is 3GPP access network? ›

The 3GPP TSG Radio Access Network (RAN) is responsible for the technical co-ordination of the specification work done in the following Working Groups: RAN1 – Radio Layer 1 (Physical layer) RAN2 – Radio layer 2 and Radio layer 3 Radio Resource Control.

Is LTE network 3G or 4G? ›

LTE is a specific type of 4G technology, also called 4G LTE, and stands for “Long Term Evolution”. Long Term Evolutions (LTE) is a mobile network service standard that uses digital signal processing technologies (DSP). It integrates IP-based systems, and it is an upgrade provided through 4G connections.

Which 3GPP release is called as 5G advanced? ›

3GPP Release 18 is branded as 5G Advanced for its significant improvements as it will include major enhancements in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and extended reality XR) that will enable highly intelligent network solutions that can support a wider variety of use cases than ever before.

What are 3gpp AT commands on Android? ›

AT commands is the software interface used to control the modem, defined as part of the 3GPP standard. This means all cellular devices are required to support these commands. The commands supported by the nRF91 series is documented in the nRF91 AT Commands Reference Guide.

Is 5G part of 3gpp? ›

From an array of mobile systems for early generations, all operators are now offering 3GPP systems, with LTE (4G) delivered by over 800 operators, with 150 of them already offering 5G to their users (Source:

Is 4G LTE ____ times faster than 3G? ›

You'll usually see it called 4G LTE. Using a 4G smartphone on Verizon's 4G LTE network means you can download files from the Internet up to 10 times faster than with 3G.

Is LTE the new 3G? ›

LTE operates on a separate spectrum from 3G networks and requires new hardware. LTE provides fast data download speeds of several 100th megabits per second (Mbps), compared to several 10th Mbps for 3G, meaning that LTE is 5-10 times faster than 3G.

When did 5G LTE come out? ›

5G Home Internet service began on October 1, 2018. 5G Ultra Wideband began rolling out on April 3, 2019, and is presently available in parts of 1,700 cities. 5G Nationwide covers well over 2,000 cities.

What are the 3 types of 5G? ›

In fact, there are three types of 5G spectrum bands: low-band, mid-band, and high-band. Each band is made up of a contiguous group of radio frequencies whose speed (performance) and reach (propagation) vary from one band to the next.

What are the three 5G network types? ›

The different types of 5G comprise the various frequencies on which 5G will operate, dubbed low-band, midband and high-band 5G.

How accurate is 3GPP 5G location? ›

Among other enhancements, 3GPP's Release 17 (Rel-17) will include more precise 5G New Radio (NR) positioning with centimeter-level location accuracy indoors and accuracy within five meters outdoors, as well as positioning latency reduction and efficiency for increased capacity.

What does network LTE mean? ›

LTE stands for Long Term Evolution and is sometimes referred to as 4G LTE. It's a standard for wireless data transmission that allows you to download your favorite music, websites, and video really fast—much faster than you could with the previous technology, 3G. Play video.

How to play 3gpp files on Android? ›

Although there may be some limitations, most mobile devices are almost always able to natively play 3GP/3G2 files. If you do want a separate mobile app for playing 3GP files, OPlayer is one option for iOS, and Android users can try MX Player or Simple MP4 Video Player (it works despite its name).

What is LTE vs LTE Advanced vs 5G? ›

5G vs LTE Speed: LTE offers speeds of up to 100Mbps, while 5G can deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps. 5G vs LTE Coverage: LTE has widespread coverage, but 5G is still in the early stages of deployment. LTE vs 5G Capacity: LTE can support up to 1000 devices per cell, while 5G can support up to 10,000 devices per cell.

What is the difference between LTE and LTE Advanced? ›

LTE is the cellular technology that 4G networks are based on, and LTE Advanced is an enhancement that improves the original LTE technology. LTE, as per 3GPP Release 8, provides peak data rates of up to 300 Gbps, whereas LTE Advanced, as per 3GPP Release 10, enables peak data rates of up to 1 Gbps.

Is LTE+ same as VoLTE? ›

VoLTE stands for Voice over LTE, and it is pronounced as Vee O LTE. With this technology, you can concurrently send voice and data over the network without affecting the voice quality. However, in LTE, when making a voice call, your data connection will be on, and then the quality of voice will be decreased.

What is 3GPP release 14? ›

To increase the number of IoT devices that can operate within a single network cell, 3GPP Release 14 brings enhancements in the cell capacity and usage of NB-IoT network resources via two features called Non-Anchor Paging and Non-Anchor Random Access Procedure (RACH).

What is 3GPP release 13? ›

The goal in Release 13 is to expand LTE CA up to 32 CCs and hence provide a major leap in the achievable data rates for LTE as well as in the flexibility to aggregate large numbers of carriers in different bands.

What bands are in 3GPP Release 16? ›

In Release 16, 3GPP further expanded the 5G NR frequency spectrum with bands starting from under 1 GHz and going all the way up to 43 GHz.

What is the other name for 3GPP 2 based 4G network? ›

Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB) was a 3GPP2 project to develop a fourth-generation successor to CDMA2000. In November 2008, Qualcomm, UMB's lead sponsor, announced it was ending development of the technology, favoring LTE instead.

What is 3GPP release 17 and 18? ›

In Release 17, 3GPP specified basic functionality support for UE-to-network relay. 3GPP Release 18 will enhance the support of UE-to-network relay, add support for UE-to-UE relay, and study multi-path support where a UE is connected to a gNB using one direct path and one indirect path via a sidelink relay.

What is 3GPP release 15? ›

3GPP Rel. 15 will update the MC service requirements of the railway and maritime industries. Low-power machine connectivity across trains, ships, and other automobiles will improve, leaving less room for error in critical transmissions and navigation pathway sharing.

What is 3GPP release 17? ›

With these advancements, 3GPP release 17 will allow for more use cases and features, including: Multicast and Broadcast services – such as public safety such as mission-critical push-to-talk, over-the-air software updates and live TV, video delivery, and IoT solutions.

When was 3GPP release 16? ›

In a milestone for 5G, global wireless standards body 3GPP finalized Release 16 on July 3, its second set of specifications for 5G New Radio (NR) technology.

What is release 15 and 16 3GPP? ›

In release 15, communication with fixed infrastructure is provided by the access-link interface between the base station and the UE. Release 16 adds the option of the NR sidelink (PC5), which can operate in in-coverage, out-of-coverage and partial-coverage scenarios, utilizing all NR frequency bands.

When was 3GPP release 8? ›

Release 8 came about in 2008, and was defined to create the next generation of communications technology. LTE release 8 included: Up to 300 Mbit/s downlink and 75 Mbit/s uplink.

When was 3GPP release 7? ›

Release 52002 Q1
Release 62004 Q4
Release 72007 Q4
Release 82008 Q4
17 more rows

Is 3GPP release 17 frozen? ›

2022 was the year in which Release 17 was functionally frozen – 3GPP's first and only release completed remotely in its entirety, via email discussions and online sessions - due to the travel restrictions in place.

What are the frequency bands for 3GPP Release 15? ›

In Release 15, 3GPP has defined two frequency ranges: Frequency range 1 (FR1), which extends from 450 megahertz (MHz) to 7.125GHz, and frequency range 2 (FR2), which extends from 24.25 to 52.6GHz (Table 1).

What are the two types of 4G? ›

What are the different Network Standards of 4G?
  • LTE (pre – 4G),
  • LTE-Advanced,
  • WiMAX, and.
  • Ultra Mobile Broadband (UMB).

What is G instead of LTE? ›

Network Basics: 3G, 4G and 5G

First, the basics: The “G” stands for generation, meaning 5G is the most current generation of cell phone network technology.


1. LTE 3GPP Specifications
(MobileG 4u)
2. How to use 3GPP Site for learning LTE/5G ?
(MobileG 4u)
3. 3GPP Releases 16, 17 and Beyond
(5G Americas)
4. 3GPP SON Series: Mobility Robustness Optimization (MRO)
5. 3GPP Release ( English)
(Talent & Tech Global Infotech)
6. 4G LTE Technology Overview
(Learn Wireless Technology)
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