The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is a collaboration agreement that was established and formalized in December 1998. The collaboration agreement brings together a number of telecommunications standards bodies which are known as “Organizational Partners.” The current Organizational Partners are Association of Radio Industries and Businesses (ARIB-Japan), China Communications Standards Association (CCSA), European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS-USA), Telecommunications Standards Development Society, India (TSDSI), Telecommunications Technology Association (TTA-Korea), and Telecommunication Technology Committee (TTC-Japan).

The original scope of 3GPP was to produce globally applicable Technical Specifications and Technical Reports for a 3rd Generation Mobile System based on evolved GSM core networks and the radio access technologies that they support (i.e., Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (UTRA) both Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Time Division Duplex (TDD) modes). The scope was subsequently amended to include the maintenance and development of the Global System for Mobile communication (GSM) Technical Specifications and Technical Reports including evolved radio access technologies (e.g. General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE)). The discussions that led to the signing of the 3GPP Agreement were recorded in a series of slides called the “Partnership Project Description” that describes the basic principles and ideas on which the project is based. The Partnership Project Description has not been maintained since it’s first creation but the principles of operation of the project still remain valid.

A permanent project support group called the “Mobile Competence Centre (MCC)” has been established to ensure the efficient day to day running of 3GPP. The MCC is based at the ETSI headquarters in Sophia Antipolis, France.

Information on this page was extracted from https://www.3gpp.org.