3GPP Specification Bloat

When I’m looking into the specs to get some details on basic LTE features, I tend to look at ‘old’ 3GPP specification documents as more often than not, things are much easier to find there than in the latest and greatest versions of the same document. Here’s an interesting example: 3GPP 36.133 on LTE Radio Resource Management. In 3GPP Release 8, which is one version after the initial Rel. 7 LTE specification and published in 2013, the document has 339 pages. The current Release 15 version published in July 2019 has 3602 pages. Woah!

That’s over 10 times as many pages compared to the initial version. O.k. a few things have happened since 2013, there’s Carrier Aggregation in live networks today, NB-IoT, CAT-M1, interworking with 5G-NR, so yes, there has been quite a bit of evolution since then that is actually used in networks today. But 10x!!?? So yes, for background on more recent features there is no way around a recent release of a document. But to understand the basics, go back and enjoy 3GPP Release 7 documents on the topic.

Oh yes, and in 2011 I actually wrote a post that it was time to remove the crud from 3GPP specs because it was too boated. Well, that didn’t exactly happen, now did it? 😉

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