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Standing on Our 5G Soapbox: Analyzing Cellular Standards Leadership Through a Different Lens

Published by Signals Research Group Product code 769361
Published Content info 37 Pages
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Standing on Our 5G Soapbox: Analyzing Cellular Standards Leadership Through a Different Lens
Published: May 21, 2018 Content info: 37 Pages
Description

Since 2010, SRG has been analyzing technology leadership during the standardization process, based on how frequently a company submits technical documents to the 3GPP standards body. Combined with our participation in 3GPP meetings since the start of the 5G standardization process, we are uniquely positioned to weigh in on this topic.

Highlights of the Report include the following:

Why Analyze TDoc Submissions ? Technical Document (TDoc) submissions made by 3GPP member companies are almost certainly the most likely entry point for all standard-essential patents (SEP) involving a cellular standard (3G, 4G, and 5G). Companies put forth the effort to introduce a TDoc and support its technical merits, because they believe there is something in it for them - the submission contains patented technologies or the idea fits well with their product roadmap, for example.

The Fallacy of Patent Counting . It isn't possible to identify SEP until after 3GPP finishes a cellular specification, yet we've seen analysis done before most 5G standardization efforts even began. One must then review ALL related patents from ALL potential companies and be intimately familiar with thousands of pages of technical specifications to determine SEP. Even then, there is a bit of subjectivity involved since the determination of SEP is rarely obvious.

The Numbers are In . Ericsson, Nokia and Huawei are the top contributors during the 3GPP standardization process going back to the start of Release '99. Collectively, they account for up to 41% of all TDoc submissions with the fourth place contributor well behind w.r.t. its contribution efforts. Each of these three companies can claim top honors for its efforts with 5G, 4G, or 3G standardization. Although there is nothing close to a 1:1 relationship between TDocs and SEP, we believe there is a good correlation. It is virtually impossible to have SEP unless a company participates in the standardization process.

Odds and Ends . We explain the standardization process to help rationalize our methodology, which involves various sensitivity studies to reflect the way 3GPP operates. We also provide our thoughts on standardization leadership versus national security. Although there are economic incentives associated with being a leader, a company can't introduce nefarious features, or any features for that matter, into the standards without the approval of mobile operators from around the world.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Essential Versus Nice-to-Have Versus Optional

How It All Goes Down

Economic Strength Versus National Security Concerns

Results and Analysis

  • First Signature Methodology
    • 5G Contributions - First Signature Methodology
    • 4G Contributions - First Signature Methodology
    • 3G Contributions - First Signature Methodology
  • Multi-Source Methodology
    • 5G Contributions - Multi-Source Methodology
    • 4G Contributions - Multi-Source Methodology
    • 3G Contributions - Multi-Source Methodology

Our Methodology

Final Thoughts

Index of Figures & Tables

  • Figure 1. Distribution of 3GPP Total TDoc Submissions by Release -
  • First Signature Method (Release '99 through Release 15)
  • Figure 2. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Total Submissions by Working Group -
  • First Signature Method (Release '99 through Release 15)
  • Figure 3. Distribution of 3GPP Treated TDoc Submissions by Release -
  • First Signature Method (Release '99 through Release 15)
  • Figure 4. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Treated Submissions by Working Group -
  • First Signature Method (Release '99 through Release 15)
  • Figure 5. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Total Submissions Related to 5G Access - First Signature Method
  • Figure 6. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Total Submissions Related to 5G Networks - First Signature Method
  • Figure 7. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Treated Submissions Related to 5G Access - First Signature Method
  • Figure 8. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Treated Submissions Related to 5G Networks - First Signature Method
  • Figure 9. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Total Submissions Related to 4G Access - First Signature Method
  • Figure 10. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Total Submissions Related to 4G Networks - First Signature Method
  • Figure 11. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Treated Submissions Related to 4G Access - First Signature Method
  • Figure 12. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Treated Submissions Related to 4G Networks - First Signature Method
  • Figure 13. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Total Submissions Related to 3G Access - First Signature Method
  • Figure 14. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Total Submissions Related to 3G Networks - First Signature Method
  • Figure 15. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Treated Submissions Related to 3G Access - First Signature Method
  • Figure 16. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Treated Submissions Related to 3G Networks - First Signature Method
  • Figure 17. Distribution of 3GPP Total TDoc Submissions by Release -
  • Multi-Source Method (Release '99 through Release 15)
  • Figure 18. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Total Submissions by Working Group -
  • Multi-Source Method (Release '99 through Release 15)
  • Figure 19. Distribution of 3GPP Treated TDoc Submissions by Release -
  • Multi-Source Method (Release '99 through Release 15)
  • Figure 20. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Treated Submissions by Working Group -
  • Multi-Source Method (Release '99 through Release 15)
  • Figure 21. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Total Submissions Related to 5G Access - Multi-Source Method
  • Figure 22. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Total Submissions Related to 5G Networks - Multi-Source Method
  • Figure 23. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Treated Submissions Related to 5G Access - Multi-Source Method
  • Figure 24. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Treated Submissions Related to 5G Networks - Multi-Source Method
  • Figure 25. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Total Submissions Related to 4G Access - Multi-Source Method
  • Figure 26. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Total Submissions Related to 4G Networks - Multi-Source Method
  • Figure 27. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Treated Submissions Related to 4G Access - Multi-Source Method
  • Figure 28. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Treated Submissions Related to 4G Access - Multi-Source Method
  • Figure 29. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Total Submissions Related to 3G Access - Multi-Source Method
  • Figure 30. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Total Submissions Related to 3G Networks - Multi-Source Method
  • Figure 31. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Treated Submissions Related to 3G Access - Multi-Source Method
  • Figure 32. Distribution of 3GPP TDoc Treated Submissions Related to 3G Networks - Multi-Source Method
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