Radio – A Commodity For Apple And Others?

A friend recently commented that Apple doesn't seem to be active in 3GPP (but they are a member), the standardization body responsible for the development and evolution of GSM, UMTS and LTE. That is an interesting observation as not participating at 3GPP meetings means they don't have much of a say in future advances of the cellular radio interface and so perhaps see cellular connectivity pretty much as a commodity for their business in a similar way as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. What about HTC, how active are they in 3GPP? Any others, that could potentially be in the same category? And yet another question on this subject, which standards bodies is Apple active in?

7 thoughts on “Radio – A Commodity For Apple And Others?”

  1. Hi Martin!
    happy 2011.
    My impression is that Apple is not really interested in standards since they produced very closed products and they deliberately establish restrictions (and censor content).

    But there is some IETF contribution. One Draft which is quite discussed in for video streaming is the Pantos HTTP Live Streaming
    ( )
    fully contributed by Apple.

    best regards!

  2. Hi,

    Here’s my two cents: A few months ago, Nokia sold their entire Wireless Modem unit to Renesas for 200M$.

    To me, this is a clear indication that, even for Nokia, radio has become a commodity.



  3. In answer to your final question, a couple of standards spring immediately to mind that Apple’s involved with:

    * IETF’s Zeroconf working group – the chair of the group is Apple’s Stuart Cheshire
    * W3C’s HTML5 working group – there are at least five or six Apple employees registered as contributors

  4. It is a good question: I don’t know if the fact that they are not so active in 3gpp bodies has a correlation with their poor performance in terms of L3 signalling: we have seen a lot of bugs in their devices that we need to implement a lot of workarounds on the RNC side in order to avoid access failures and drops… Definitely, it is not their strength. Happy new year!

  5. @David: Apple – at least for now – uses Infineon GSM/EDGE/HSPA -modem which naturally includes the protocol stack SW aswell.

    Therefore, I’d say it’s rather the Infineon (or, to be more accurate, its subsidiary Comneon) (L3) SW to blame if there are some problems/oddities with the signalling…

  6. @Antti: i think that Apple is to blame as well: they should ensure that the protocol stack produced by infineon works properly.

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