(2) The first Work Phase of Special Working Group GSM

from the End 1982 to the End 1984

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The newly created "Groupe Spécial Mobil" (GSM) had their first meeting in December 1982. Members were the incumbent (monopoly) network operators and in UK the Department of Trade and Industry and two licensed network operators. The work could start immediately based on the strategy document and action plan already endorsed by CCH (reissued as GSM 2/82):

Strategic targets: A new advanced system should be available in the early 1990s. It should be able to share the 900 MHz spectrum with existing analogue ‘interim’ systems. Mobile stations should be able to operate in all CEPT countries. Telephony was seen as the main service, but attractive non-voice services should be enabled. High spectrum efficiency was required. The system should be able to support hand portables. A growing demand for speech security was seen (GSM 29/83). The system parameters should be optimized to limit the cost of the mobiles, since they constitute the main part of the total system cost.

An action plan identified study items: already ongoing studies, items for external studies, ongoing research market and tariff studies. An investigation of requirements for administrative and regulatory requirement should be undertaken. The basic parameters of the system and the outline system specifications should be elaborated. Proposals for licensing, type approval and free circulation of mobile stations should be elaborated.

All these aspects were progressed by contributions of many participants during the period up to the end of 1984. Several ad-hoc working parties took place during Plenary meetings. The work of external groups was reviewed. A lot of input on market and tariff matters was received. The impact of hand portables on the system was assessed in depth (GSM 27/85 rev. 3). The debate confirmed the target to support hand portables.

The strategic targets were consolidated in a document “Basic requirements for a harmonized mobile communication system” (GSM 73/85 rev1). It treated services, quality of service, security, spectrum usage, network and cost aspects. This document foresaw the standardization of an advanced new system to be used in new spectrum.

During this phase research activities took place in different countries and results were shared. This phase created an alignment of views on principle questions. This consensus was a stable fundament for the work to come and provided sufficient direction for the next work phase.

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