·        What about joining EF3?

·       Do you know about the "European Friends of 3GPP"?

Created in 2002 at the initiative of several ETSI member companies, the "European Friends of 3GPP", or EF3, is a project intended to fund the organization and support of 3GPP meetings in Europe.

Meetings of specification activities such as 3GPP are frequently hosted and managed by ETSI member companies at their own expense. However, even in the current climate of 'economic downturn' in our industry, the worldwide interest in the technologies being specified often leads to very large meetings, and these pose considerable financial and organizational burdens for the host, especially where that host is a single company.

Established to arrange and fund meetings in accessible locations with the support of the active members of 3GPP in Europe, EF3's goal is to reduce the financial and administrative burdens on individual companies, whilst ensuring that the European Partners fulfil their obligations to the global 3GPP community. It also seeks to maintain an appropriate regional balance between where many delegates come from and the location of the meetings, avoiding undue extra cost, time and fatigue for European delegates.

·       Making good use of ETSI's expertise

The initiative places responsibility for organizing the meetings into the hands of ETSI, drawing upon the considerable experience and skilled meetings support staff within the Institute. As a founding Partner in 3GPP, and the home of the Mobile Competence Centre, ETSI has excellent awareness of the needs of the Partnership Project, the participating companies and individual delegates. It also has a first-class reputation for neutrality. ETSI has accepted to provide the required assistance on a cost-recovery basis.

Under the EF3 initiative, ETSI works with the signatories to find suitable venues that are accessible to all for 3GPP meetings within Europe, and to provide the necessary logistics, the aim being to ensure the most efficient use of resources and a consistent set of services for delegates. EF3 seeks to maximise the effectiveness of the contribution of 3GPP participating companies in Europe to the work of the Partnership Project in designing emerging 3rd Generation mobile technologies.

·       Voluntary contributions

Financially, EF3 works on a basis of voluntary contributions from the signatory companies. There is no fixed amount of contribution, and additional payments may be made throughout the course of a year.

Companies may join and leave at any time (ref content of the EF3 LoI), but of course, in order ensure reasonable planning of meetings and to avoid undue burdens on the other signatories, it is hoped that they will maintain their commitment to EF3 for an appreciable period of time.

The existing EF3 signatories are strongly committed to the initiative. Here are quotes from senior representatives of just two of the companies:

"With EF3, we will be able to send our delegates to standards meetings with less travel, so they will be able to concentrate on the task without jet-lag. I hope that most active European members of 3GPP will join us." - Professor Michael Walker, Group Research and Development Director, Vodafone.

"It is important for the whole 3GPP community to ensure adequate meeting participation of the members of 3GPP. The EF3 initiative therefore is not only in the interest of European members, but helps to keep the leading role of 3GPP in our business." - Dirk Weiler, Vice President Standards and Fora, Siemens Information and Communication Mobile.

·       More can be done – with your company's commitment

As of mid 2017, twenty companies are signatories to EF3. Their contributions are sufficient to fund around 40 3GPP meetings (either working group or plenary).  But of course the Working Groups have many more meetings than that! With your company's commitment to EF3, it will be possible to hold and support more of the meetings in Europe, whilst still saving your company money!

The mathematics are easy… even a modest contribution to EF3 finances can help to ensure more efficiently-run meetings in Europe, cutting down your company's travel costs and your delegates' time. Please give it your careful consideration and discuss it within your company.


Obligation & conditions:

Members are required to sign a Letter of Intent (LoI).

Members are required to pay a minimum membership contribution of 10 000€ per year. There is no maximum limit for contributions. EF3 Members are encouraged to pay a membership contribution commensurate with the size of their company.

All membership contributions shall be paid by the 1st of July in each year. A member who does not pay his contributions by this date or does not sign the LoI is considered to have withdrawn from EF3 for that year.